Release date: 21/04/2021
The Council of the Bar of Ireland welcomes the news of cabinet approval for the additional appointments to the High Court;
It is vital that such appointments are a permanent addition. Key challenges for the Judiciary and the Courts Service, include the backlog of matters arising due to Covid-restrictions, but also the need to improve the throughput of matters so that the administration of justice can properly support the economic and social fabric of the State. Ireland’s position as a centre for international dispute resolution is contingent on appropriate specialist judicial capacity.
Maura McNally SC, Chair of the Council of The Bar of Ireland said:
“This news is coming at a really pivotal moment; as we now face into dealing with the fall out of Covid, it is welcome that a proactive approach is being taken in terms of planning for the future. Brexit and the international standing of the Irish legal services and the reputation of the State are all matters which validate these appointments. Above all, access to justice and speed of dispute resolution will be positively impacted by this additional capacity.
Our view is that while five additional High Court judges is welcome, the need is in fact many times that; something raised by the President of the High Court some weeks ago. The work of the Judicial Planning Working Group will be instrumental in this regard.
Prior to Covid and on an ongoing basis, The Bar of Ireland has impressed upon the State the need for adequate investment in our Courts System as a key public service, and to avoid burdening a system which is experiencing significant challenges.
It is imperative that these appointments are permanent so that the reasonable expectations of all who use and interact with the Courts can be met.
Submissions to the Review of Administration of Civil Justice from a wide range of stakeholders, underlined the need for additional capacity at the High Court Jurisdiction, and in particular consideration of additional specialist judges.
The Council looks forward to the announcement of the appointments in due course.