Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said the proposed Court of Appeal is a "vital reform" if Ireland is to have a modern and responsive court system.

Mr Shatter said there is currently a four-year wait for the Supreme Court with over 600 cases outstanding, 77 of which had been deemed to be priority cases.

He was speaking at the launch of the referendum campaign to introduce the court.

Mr Shatter said the new court would be in the interests of victims of crime, as it would expedite appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Multinational companies seeking to locate in Ireland wanted to know if the court system was efficient, but fundamentally he said having a reasonable timescale for litigation had been recognised as a basic human right.