THE Executive Council has approved the appointment of a senior administrator to tighten up the judiciary's management. Legislators were generally supportive of the Exco decision, but said the roles of the senior administrator and the Registrar of the Supreme Court should be clearly defined to prevent duplication of work. The post of Registrar of the Supreme Court, currently held by Julian Betts, who handles administration, will be retained but its power will be limited to judicial work. The senior administrator post is equivalent to a D8 rank on the directorate pay scale with a monthly salary of about $119,000. It will be open to recruitment locally and overseas although a local is understood to be preferred. Moses Cheng Mo-chi, of the Liberal Party, said he was happy the administration had a change of heart and endorsed the proposal, which was put forward in the Robinson Report in 1986. Agreeing there was a need to keep the registrar's post, Mr Cheng said the senior administrator and the registrar had different roles. ''There are still a lot of judicial proceedings to be handled by him [the registrar],'' he said. He expected the successful candidate to have good managerial experience and be able to push through reforms in the judiciary, whose management was outdated. Mr Cheng, a solicitor, said the first thing the senior administrator should do would be to modernise the management thinking of the judiciary. This included a review of supporting services and facilities provided to judges. Independent legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing also felt the support services offered to judges needed urgent improvement. ''The judges still need to work long hand. It is like the Stone Age,'' she said. The listing system also had to be improved to shorten the lengthy wait for trials to be heard, Miss Lau said. ''I think they [the judiciary] could not just come and ask for more money and resources. They need to have a more efficient system.'' The United Democrats spokesman on legal affairs, James To Kun-sun, said: ''I think a comprehensive review of the judiciary is warranted before mapping out the reform strategies. Without an in-depth study, we have no way of knowing how the system should be overhauled.''