Monday 14 October 2019

Extra sessions for courts to tackle delays

Chief Justice, Susan Denham
Chief Justice, Susan Denham

Michael McHugh

Ireland's highest courts will sit in September due to long delays, Chief Justice Susan Denham said.

The Supreme Court has a waiting list of more than four years and the Court of Criminal Appeal has a queue of 15 months.

Chief Justice Denham said, "This is a pro-active measure by the judges of these courts to tackle the significant delays before an appeal can be heard.

"It is part of our ongoing efforts, and is an interim measure, to lessen delays, before the introduction of a Court of Appeal - which would provide permanent and sensible relief of the current logjam."

The Supreme Court was due to rise from July 31 to October 7.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said: "The lengthy waiting periods being experienced by persons who are awaiting appeals before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal has been of concern and contributed to the Government's recent decisions to appoint additional Supreme Court judges and propose a Constitutional Amendment to provide for a permanent Court of Appeal.

"This measure on the part of the judiciary will also alleviate the delays and help to ensure that citizens' right of access to justice is upheld."

Both courts will have lists in June to provide dates for a series of appeals to be listed and heard in September.

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