P trials cause logjam in High Court
5:00AM Saturday May 05, 2007
By Geoff Cumming


Evidence in drug trials is often so complicated that it takes weeks to present. Photo / Hawke's Bay Today

Some methamphetamine trials may be shifted to district courts to ease a growing logjam in the High Court.

The Government is considering a request from High Court judges to be given discretion to defer less serious cases to their district court colleagues.

The High Court's caseload has leapt since 2003 when methamphetamine was reclassified as a Class A drug, raising concerns about access to justice, particularly for those awaiting jury trials.

Ministry of Justice figures show 440 criminal jury trials were filed in the High Court in 2005/06, more than 100 higher than in 2004/05.

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