Chief Justice calls for Civil Court of Appeal

Friday 02 March 2012 22.37
Chief Justice Susan Denham says there are 36 High Courts and only one Supreme Court
Chief Justice Susan Denham says there are 36 High Courts and only one Supreme Court

The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham, has repeated her call for a Civil Court of Appeal to be established.

Ms Justice Denham was speaking at a lunch for the Institute of Directors in Dublin.

She pointed out that the success of the Commercial Court in dealing with business and financial disputes was somewhat spoiled by the lack of a streamlined appeals system.

She said unlike every other common law jurisdiction, Ireland relies on a single Supreme Court to hear all appeals in civil matters.

Currently cases may have to wait more than three years for a hearing.

She said there are 36 High Courts making thousands of decisions every year and one Supreme Court to handle what amounts to automatic appeals.

A Court of Appeal, she said, would speed up the more routine appeals against decisions and interpretation and allow legal matters of public importance to be sent to the Supreme Court.

There was a need to reform the system because delays created confusion and costs and were bad for business, she added.

Ms Justice Denham said the situation posed serious problems for the Irish legal system and for Irish society as a whole.