The chief magistrate of Solomon Islands says relying on foreign magistrates is not a sustainable solution.
Chief Magistrate Leonard Maina told Radio Australia's that the current shortage is due to short term fixes appointments should not be repeated.
"The problem came up because when RAMSI came in last time, they brought in the magistrates to assist us to deal with the ethnic tension cases," he said.
"Now what happened is that when they came, we were not able to get local lawyers to be magistrates.
"When they left us, we had only few magistrates."
At present, the country has only seven magistrates, although it needs at least 16 magistrates to cope with the current workload.
Mr Maina says the increased workload is putting pressure on the industry, making it difficult to service all the courts at the same time.
"At the moment we have warrants of arrest still outstanding to be dealt with, about 4000 plus, and we have back load of cases both in Honiara and all the courts in the provinces," he said.
Mr Maina says the important thing now is to develop the local magistrate sector.
"We can't rely on some people outside every time," he said.
"We have done it for the last time so when they left, (there was) nothing left for us.
"What we need now is that our government has to make some commitment and recruit magistrates."
Low pay and poor working conditions are discouraging local lawyers from entering the industry.
"The terms and conditions of service of the magistrates in Solomon Islands is very poor," Mr Maina said.
"It cannot attract our local lawyers to become magistrates although we have people in Solomon Islands qualified to be magistrates."
But Mr Maina says foreign magistrates can help build up the pool of local magistrates if the government is committed to doing so.
Justice and Legal Affairs Permanent Secretary for the Solomon Islands Fred Me'esa says he is aware of the shortage of magistrates in the country as it is an ongoing situation and the ministry has been trying to address for some time.
Responding to Mr Maina's concern, Mr Me'esa says they will, with members of the judiciary, see what immediate actions they can take to improve the situation.
He also admits the terms and conditions of magistrates are not attractive, preventing qualified people from taking up the judicial post.