Defamation and personal injury cases up in 2017 - divorce and possession orders down

Defamation and personal injury cases up in 2017 - divorce and possession orders down

The Irish courts saw an increase in defamation and personal injury cases last year, amid a decline in divorce applications and possession orders.

Over 655,000 new matters were introduced to the courts last year in total, including a 16 per cent increase in new appeals to the Supreme Court.

The new figures are included in the Courts Service of Ireland’s annual report for 2017, presented to the Oireachtas yesterday.

Of the 655,000 matters, over 425,000 were criminal offences and over 228,000 were civil matters.

At High Court and Circuit Court level, there were increases in defamation and personal injury cases, and slight decreases in divorce and judicial separation applications.

After several years of increases, the number of possession orders made in both jurisdictions decreased.

At District Court level, there was a slight increase in applications under the domestic violence legislation.

Writing in the foreword, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice of Ireland and chair of the Board of the Courts Service, said: “These increases and decreases might well reflect changes in the law, or in the environment in which we conduct commerce or organise society.”

He also highlighted the challenges for the courts in dealing with appeals - of which substantially more were submitted last year than resolved - and in recruiting and retaining judicial assistants.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I know the courts remain extremely busy, but I am happy to note that, in general, across the system, waiting times have either been maintained or, reduced.

“I wish to commend both the judges and courts staff for all their efforts in this regard and of course, encourage everyone to continue working to bring about further improvements.”

Share icon
Share this article: