The State Government has approved the appointment of an additional Supreme Court judge to help cut delays and ease a backlog of cases before the courts.
Attorney General Joe Berinson said the appointment of Mr Graeme Frederick Scott QC would bring the number of Supreme Court judges to 15, an increase of seven since 1983.
Mr Berinson said the number of indictments presented in the Supreme Court in the last five years had almost doubled, and the number of criminal trials had increased by 70 per cent.
"The more recent trend has seen a small reduction in the number of cases initiated in the Supreme Court, down to 2,286 in the 12 months to June 30, compared with 2,591 the previous year. Unfortunately, this has been offset by the increasing complexity and length of individual cases," he said.
"Every effort is being made to relieve this pressure, including a massive program of computerisation of the court system, availability of mediation conferences, and use of an expedited list to bring urgent cases forward.
"However, due to the increasing complexity and worrying backlog of civil matters, and the need to keep criminal trial delays to a minimum because of their impact on individual liberty, the Government has decided that an additional judge should be appointed."
Mr Berinson said Mr Scott would take up his appointment on October 19.
Mr Scott, 49, commenced his career at Kott Wallace and Gunning in 1966, before opening his own law firm, Tonge and Scott, in Fremantle in 1968.
He obtained extensive experience in civil, criminal and commercial areas during eight years in private practice, before joining the Crown Law Department as a Counsel in 1976, later becoming Crown Prosecutor, and more recently Crown Counsel.
Mr Scott was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1987.