State Cabinet has approved the appointment of two additional judges to tackle the growing backlog in the State's court system.
Attorney General Joe Berinson said today the appointments were made necessary by unprecedented pressure on State courts.
"The number of matters coming before the courts has increased rapidly in recent years," Mr Berinson said.
"In the District Court last year, the number of indictments increased by 15 per cent and the number of criminal trials rose by 25 per cent.
"In the Supreme Court in the last five years, the number of criminal trials has increased by about 70 per cent."
Mr Berinson said he was concerned by the associated increase in the delay between criminal committals and hearings.
"Delays in the Supreme Court for criminal trials have increased from about four and a half to seven months in the past year, and in the District Court the waiting period is six months," he said.
"These delays are unacceptable even though they compare quite favourably with other States."
In the Supreme Court and District Court in New South Wales, the waiting period for criminal trials is 14-17 months, and in Victoria 9-10 months.
Mr Berinson said the delay for civil cases was often much greater as criminal trials are given priority.
In WA the delay in the Supreme Court between entry and trial on civil matters was now 12-14 months, compared with 41 months in NSW and 17 months in Victoria.
"Although by this comparison Western Australia's position appears adequate, it is still not good enough," Mr Berinson said.
"One thing that we must be very conscious of is how the backlog can compound once it starts to build."
Mr Berinson said the new appointments would mean one additional judge in both the District and Supreme Courts.
That would increase the total number of judges sitting on the District Court to 17 and on the Supreme Court to 15.
The new judges are expected to be available in July/August.