3 November 2015
The Government today approved a proposal to introduce an amendment to Section 9 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 to increase the statutory number of ordinary judges of the High Court by two, from 35 to 37.
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, welcomed the decision agreeing to increase the number of High Court judges stating, “There has been a significant increase in the volume and complexity of cases as well as in the variety of litigation coming before the High Court. Waiting times in the Central Criminal Court, which deals with the most serious criminal cases recently extended to some 18 months. This Government is committed to ensuring that there is an efficient and fair system of justice in place and providing for two additional High Court judges will lead to greater efficiency and result in reduced waiting times for cases to be heard across all areas of business.”
The increase in the number of High Court judges will permit the assignment of an additional judge in the Central Criminal Court so as to enable 5 judges to work in this area. There has also been a significant increase in areas such as medical negligence cases and in judicial review as well as new business arising from the Companies Act 2014 which commenced in June this year.
An appropriate piece of amending legislation will need to be identified to provide for the increase in the number of ordinary judges of the High Court.
Note to Editors:
Section 9 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 as amended by the Courts and Court Officers (Amendment) Act 2007 provides that the number of ordinary judges of the High Court shall not be more than 35.