Number of High Court judges to increase

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

The statutory number of ordinary High Court judges in Ireland will be increased from 35 to 37, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced.

The Irish government yesterday agreed to amend Section 9 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 to increase the number of judges in order to improve efficiency and waiting times within the courts system.

Ms Fitzgerald said: “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 increased number of judges will permit the assignment of an additional judge to the Central Criminal Court, bringing the total to 5.

The Department of Justice and Equality will identify an appropriate piece of amending legislation to provide for the change.

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