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Report No. 77

2.2. System delay.-

What we mean primarily by the problem of court congestion is the problem of 'system' delay, such that even though the parties are ready and anxious to try their case, the court system cannot accommodate them promptly because there are other controversies waiting ahead of them for the court's time. Systemic delay also exists in obtaining decisions after trial and in appeal proceedings, but these affect relatively few cases compared to delayed trials.

Delay is the product of too much court business for too few judges, creating an imbalance in their work-time relationship. More precisely, systemic delay occurs when the demand made by a group of cases for courtroom processing exceeds the supply of court resources, namely, judge time, available to process them. A remedy that works is one that restores equilibrium by favourably adjusting the balance.1

1.See Harry W. Jones (ED) The Courts, the Public and Law Explosion,(1965 EDN.), pp. 32 to 38.

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