07 May 2020
In order to ensure there is timely access to justice for all, the Council of The Bar of Ireland believes that it is very much in the public interest and the interests of litigants that all options for the continuation of court business during the coronavirus emergency would be considered.
To that end, the Council of The Bar of Ireland established a working group comprising of members of the Council working across the State, and in all jurisdictions, to provide suggestions to the Judiciary and the Courts Service. The resulting proposal was submitted to the Court Service on May 1st and is available on The Bar of Ireland’s website here.
The proposal does not contain any suggestion that ordinary crimes be tried in non-jury courts as part of the response to the coronavirus crisis, nor is that suggestion under consideration by the Council of The Bar of Ireland.
It is the view of the Council of The Bar of Ireland that the right to trial by jury is an important right which enjoys specific protection under our Constitution. It is not in the public interest that this would be removed or diluted.