THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has warned that fees for prosecutors will rise with the introduction of the new Court of Appeal.
DPP Claire Loftus said that legal fees would inevitably rise as a result of more criminal cases being processed as the new intermediate court clears backlogs.
Ms Loftus, speaking at the annual National Prosecutors Conference held at Dublin Castle this morning (SAT), also said her office is examining the resource implications of new EU laws that will see victims given the right to receive reasons for decisions not to prosecute.
The Victims Directive, which must be fully transposed into Irish law by November 2015, will give victims the right to receive reasons in a range of offences including assault, robberies, burglaries, harassment and more serious offences such as rape, child sexual abuse and murder.
Ms Loftus said that many prosecution decisions are in fact made by gardai without reference to her Office but under her delegated authority.
The permanent court of appeal, designed to clear a four year backlog at the Supreme Court will be operational next year after a successful referendum.
The new, 10 judge court will see a permanent division established to deal with criminal appeals.
Ms Loftus said legal costs would rise notwithstanding major cuts to prosecutor's fees in recent years.
"Of course one of the consequences is that the expenditure of my office will also increase as more cases are processed," said Ms Loftus at the conference which was attended by members of the judiciary and Barra McGrory QC, the DPP for Northern Ireland who is speaking at the conference.
"This, coupled with a large number of trials, will inevitably have an effect on expenditure on professional fees".
The DPP highlighted a number of new practices aimed at reducing the number of court hearings prior to criminal trials, including pre- trial hearings which has resulted in a series of efficiencies including more pleas being entered into at an earlier stage and not on the morning of trials.
Ms Loftus paid tribute at the conference to solicitor Barry Galvin, the first legal officer of the Criminal Assets Bureau who has retired as State Solicitor in Cork City after thirty years of service.
Ms Loftus said that Mr Galvin had given an "enormous service" to three DPPs on behalf of the people of Ireland in the busiest centre for Ireland outside of Dublin.
"As a lawyer he has shown a great loyalty and commitment to public service in various guises," said Ms Loftus.
"He brings energy to everything he does and no matter who combative he is, he never loses his good humour or his ability to part on good terms".
In her speech, Ms Loftus appealed to groups representing sex abuse victims to "enter into a dialogue" to help develop a protocol for the exchange of third party documents - such as counselling notes - for the purpose of criminal trials.
The Office of the DPP has already entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Health Services Executive about third party disclosure.
MOU's have also been entered into with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, One in Four, the Cork Sexual Violence Centre and Towards Healing.