Release date: 24/01/2020
The Bar of Ireland has written to all election candidates, political parties and members of the Oireachtas, ahead of the General Election 2020 highlighting a number of issues that are pertinent to both members of The Bar and the public they serve.
Called ‘Safeguarding Justice’ the communication focuses on four pillars; Safeguarding the constitutional right of access to the courts; safeguarding access to justice though legal aid; allocation of appropriate budget to develop a dedicated Family Law and Children’s Court at Hammond Lane; and the promotion of Ireland as a leading centre for international legal services.
Commenting, Chairman, Council of The Bar of Ireland, Micheál P.O’Higgins SC said; “Constricting budgets are making it harder for barristers and the courts to do their work, and too many people are unable to access justice quickly or eﬀectively. This is particularly pertinent for those living in poverty, or who are otherwise vulnerable, who, without access to justice are denied the opportunity to assert and vindicate their legal rights. Resources are urgently needed to underpin an eﬀective and eﬃcient justice system that will ensure access to justice for all court users.”
Commenting on the opportunity for Ireland to become a leading centre for international legal services post-Brexit, Micheál P.O’Higgins SC said; “In order to maximise the opportunity for Ireland, it would not be suﬃcient to simply promote Ireland's existing oﬀering. It is necessary for the next Government to demonstrate its commitment to reform and to modernise the existing Courts and legal system and to commit the additional ﬁnancial and other resources required to ensure that Ireland's judiciary, Courts service and legal system is best positioned to meet international expectations and the needs of international as well as domestic court users.
With the support of the next Government, the beneﬁts that will accrue in promoting Ireland as a global legal hub are not limited to the legal industry but will also assist the wider Irish economy. It is estimated that even a 1% movement of legal services from the UK to Ireland could add between 1,100 and 1,600 jobs to the Irish economy in a year,” he said.
The Election Bulletin 2020 can be found here.