Thursday 21 June 2018

It's time citizens had real access to justice

Senior barristers still earn up to €1,562 a day in the Central Criminal Court and €858 a day in the Circuit Court. Solicitors earn €750 and €418 a day in the same courts. Stock Image
Senior barristers still earn up to €1,562 a day in the Central Criminal Court and €858 a day in the Circuit Court. Solicitors earn €750 and €418 a day in the same courts. Stock Image
Editorial

Editorial

The economic crash brought us many horrors. But it also brought us some opportunities to fundamentally rethink how we order our affairs. Among the few potential benefits was a chance to reduce professional fees of various kinds.

High on the list of these was the need to review fees commanded by our lawyers and the effect of these fees on ordinary citizens' access to the law courts. The grim reality of life in modern Ireland is that often if a law-abiding citizen is seeking a remedy for what they perceive as unjust treatment, they must risk financial ruin to find that remedy via the court system.

The simple facts are that the fees paid to solicitors and barristers are extraordinarily high. It was a point made repeatedly during the grim economic bailout years by the EU Commission and others.

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