New arrangements set out for criminal, family law and civil law business

New arrangements set out for criminal, family law and civil law business

The latest guidance from the Courts Service of Ireland in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, issued on Sunday night, is reproduced in full below.

Notice for practitioners and members of the public requiring services from court offices in respect of criminal, family law and civil law business

In light of the additional restrictions announced by An Taoiseach on the 27th March and in order to ensure compliance with Government policy while retaining access to justice, arrangements for attendance at public counters for the above jurisdictions will now change. The arrangements will apply from Monday 30th March 2020 until Tuesday 14th April 2020.

Measures for the conduct of business as set out in earlier statements issued by the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the High Court, the President of the Circuit Court and the President of the District Court remain in place. These statements may be updated so please consult periodically for the most up to date information.

Matters listed for the week commencing 30th March:

All matters listed for the week commencing 30th March in all jurisdictions will proceed.

In relation to criminal matters in the District and Circuit Court, persons on bail need not attend and the case will be remanded in their absence. Accused persons will be informed of the new court date by their solicitor or by the Courts Service if they do not have a solicitor. In relation to custody cases, accused people will appear by way of Videolink

Accused persons in custody and due to appear before the Central and Special Criminal Court will appear by way of Videolink, unless explicitly directed by the Court. Accused persons on bail are asked to consult their solicitor on whether to attend.

Only those persons essential to the hearing should attend. Members of the public who are not participants in proceedings should not travel to court buildings. Bona fide members of the press may continue to attend but media outlets are asked to send as few representatives as possible. All parties must respect social distancing and there may be limits to the number of persons who can be in court at any given time.

Public offices open by appointment only

Court offices will be open for essential business by appointment only. Members of the public and legal practitioners will not be served at a Court office without an appointment.

Only those with urgent applications for any Court Office, which cannot be dealt with by email or post, will be given an appointment. Persons should not attend any court office without an appointment. All offices remain operational, subject to some limitations, and can continue to be contacted by email and by post in the normal manner. All email accounts for offices continue to be monitored

Contact details of all Circuit and District Court offices in Dublin and the Criminal Courts of Justice are also on and appointments can be arranged, as appropriate, by e-mailing the relevant office. Contact details for court offices outside of Dublin are available through the link.

The several offices of the Superior Courts will relocate their public offices to the Central Office of the High Court. Attendance at the Central Office will be facilitated on an appointment basis for urgent business only. To secure an appointment in this office, please e-mail from 9.00 am on Monday, 30th March 2020, indicating briefly the nature of the business. This email account is only to be used for this purpose.

Family Law

Offices will continue to deal with urgent matters which include:

  • New applications for Protection Orders
  • New applications for Interim Barring Orders
  • Applications for Emergency Barring Orders
  • Extension of care orders and interim care orders and emergency care orders and exceptional or urgent interim care orders.

Applicants should read this statement from the President of the District Court.

Information about Domestic Violence and Abuse – court orders and support services - is available here.

As above, please contact the relevant office to make an appointment.

Central Office

The Central Office of the High Court, Four Courts, Dublin 7 will be open, by appointment, to facilitate the making of applications for essential business only. The list of applications defined as essential business along with is as follows:

  • Applications for Bail
  • Habeas Corpus
  • Injunctions and the enforcement of same
  • Examinerships
  • Urgent Wardship matters
  • Urgent Judicial Review applications
  • Issue of proceedings where the statutory time limit to issue will expire before Tuesday 14th April 2020


The stamp office in Áras Uí Dhálaigh, Four Courts, Dublin 7 will close from Tuesday 31st March until Tuesday 14th April.

Court Offices outside Dublin will also not be open to make stamp duty payments. Where fees are payable on proceedings that must be issued over the coming days, an undertaking in writing to pay fees signed by the Solicitor will be accepted.

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