Family lawyers welcome commencement of ‘game-changing’ remote hearings

Family lawyers welcome commencement of 'game-changing' remote hearings

Keith Walsh

Family lawyers have welcomed the commencement of remote family court hearings this week.

Mr Justice John Jordan, the judge in charge of the family list of the High Court, has published a notice setting out the court’s approach to remote hearings from yesterday.

The court will initially hear consent matters and uncontested applications by remote hearing. In “due course”, it will also hold remote hearings of contested matters which do not involve oral evidence and which do not exceed 40 minutes in duration.

Family lawyer Keith Walsh told Irish Legal News: “This is a game changer for family law cases and will not only facilitate the cases already agreed but provide an incentive for all those stuck in the current divorce system to attempt again to resolve their cases.”

He added: “It seems that as result of obvious concerns about ensuring the in camera rule is not breached that it is now mandatory that the parties to the case access the virtual hearing from their solicitors offices. This is a sensible and practical solution to a difficult problem.

“Hundreds of families who could not complete their divorce and separations during the long tail end of this pandemic will now be able to move on with their lives. Full credit is due to the judges and staff of the Courts Service as well as the Law Society, the Family Lawyers’ Association, Bar Council and DSBA who have all worked hard towards this goal.”

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