The High Court judge in charge of Irish extradition cases has said he will hold off ordering anybody's surrender to another jurisdiction for the moment, and only for the most serious of offences.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy, who dealt with a list of up to 30 international extradition cases in the High Court today, said he would not be making orders for surrender, save in the most serious of cases, until after the Easter break at the earliest.

He said the making of any orders "might encourage flight" and could "cause problems within the prison system".

If somebody was to have their extradition ordered in the coming days and weeks, there could be no guarantee they would be surrendered in the required 25-day period, he said.

They may also have to be committed to prison which, he said, created a risk that "should be avoided".

Mr Justice Binchy said he was not suggesting a wholesale adjournment of cases, as this could cause a backlog of cases that could lead to difficulties down the line.

He said it was "preferable that hearings go ahead" with judgments being delivered "whenever necessary".

He said hearings in which arguments are made for or against surrender only involved a small number of people and there were practical things that could be done to reduce the numbers of people in court at any one time.

Mr Justice Binchy said he would like to avoid "any exchange of paper", which was "probably something that should have happened 20 years ago anyway", and he encouraged documents to be exchanged electronically.

He said he would "welcome any suggestion to help us get through this".

Before the judge today were eight applications listed to endorse incoming European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) and five applications listed to issue outgoing EAWs to other countries. There were a further 17 cases listed for case management.

Hearings into the proposed extradition of individuals from Ireland are due to be heard in court in the coming days and weeks.

All Republic of Ireland extradition requests are dealt with by the High Court in Dublin.