Chief Justice Frank Clarke has said he is anxious to move ahead "as quickly as is possible" to form a personal injury committee under the new Judicial Council Act.

He said the committee members have been selected and are doing "a lot of preparatory work" to allow them produce their first report and guidelines on compensation payouts.

Mr Justice Clarke confirmed that the committee will have a meeting "in the very near future" to start their work.

He said he and his colleagues are mindful of the urgency to have action in this area. He said, judges read and listen to media reports on the issue like everyone else.

Mr Justice Clarke told insurance companies at a Dublin conference that they will need to co-operate with the committee and provide the information needed in order to make progress.

Courts, he said, will be obliged to have regard to the guidelines when they are in place, and if they depart from the guidelines judges will have to explain the reasoning behind that. He said the guidelines will be stronger than the existing ones.

Mr Clarke was addressing an Insurance Ireland organised conference on insurance fraud, he said the judiciary understands the importance of the prevention of fraud, in particular in the case of fraudulent or exaggerated claims.

He said a fraudulent claim is not only a fraud on society, but also a fraud on the courts. He said someone is fraudulently invoking a court to make a false claim and the judiciary takes that very seriously.

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Mr Justice Clarke said he welcomed the resources provided to the Judicial Council, he said he had initial concerns over funding levels, which have been addressed.

The Chief Justice confirmed that he made representations to the Government on the issue. He said the financial requirements sought by him as Chief Justice have been agreed to by Government, in a letter he received from Minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael D'Arcy just last week.

Addressing a perceived lack of convictions against insurance fraudsters the Chief Justice said the role of judges is to decide on individual cases on the evidence presented to them in court.

Frank Clarke said judges may "have suspicions about things" but he said they cannot allow those suspicions to influence or overrule the evidence presented to the court. He told a grouping of insurance said if judges are to play their role in combating fraud, then they need the evidence presented to them in individuals cases.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke is one of several speakers to address the Insurance Ireland event at the Convention Centre.

Increasing compensation payouts and claims of ongoing fraud are huge issues and the insurance industry is seeking to address them at the conference.

It has been claimed that some payouts are more than four times higher in Ireland compared to those in the UK and a long-promised Judicial Council is meant to look at the issue.

A Personal Injuries Committee made up of judges will carry out the work, and while it will not specifically look at fraud, it will examine false and exaggerated claims.

The committee, which has not yet been formally established, could help form a framework that will help control the level of payouts in insurance claims.

Alliance for Insurance Reform Director Peter Boland said the industry is looking for "dramatic reductions" in general damages for "minor fully recovered injuries".

He said they are hopeful the committee will "reflect the wider public interest on this".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Boland said the "damage that is being done to Irish society" by "massive payouts on minor injuries" is no longer sustainable.