New court will be up and running by autumn 2014
JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter says the Court of Appeal will be up and running by next year, after voters overwhelming backed the Government's proposals aimed at easing pressure on the Supreme Court.
The decision to establish a new court was passed by a margin of almost two to one, with an average turnout of 40pc.
Mr Shatter said the Yes vote would lead to "very important reform which will modernise the legal system".
"It's a landmark decision, it's the first time there's been a structural change constitutionally made to our courts since 1937, when the Constitution was adopted," he said.
"We said during the course of the referendum that if it was supported that the Court of Appeal should be established and up and running by autumn 2014.
"It is anticipated that there will be nine judges appointed to the Court of Appeal, plus a president of the court."
He said the projected cost of the new court would be €3m and the number of judges would be further considered if there was a need to clear a Supreme Court backlog.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny also welcomed the result, saying of it and the Seanad vote: "I welcome and accept both verdicts as being very clear."
The Yes result was overwhelming, with over 60pc of voters approving the measure in 42 out of 43 constituencies.
When the court is up and running next year, it will hear almost all appeals from the High Court.
This will reduce the pressure on the Supreme Court, which will hear only what it considers to be cases of general public importance, or where the interest of justice demands that it hear a case.