Supreme Court launches inaugural annual report on historic visit to Galway

Supreme Court launches inaugural annual report on historic visit to Galway

Mr Justice Frank Clarke and
Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh

The Supreme Court of Ireland launched its inaugural annual report today to coincide with its historic sitting in Galway.

The 2018 report reveals that new appeals to the court have increased by nearly a third (30 per cent) since 2016, while waiting times have been slashed from five years to one year.

The court has now disposed of nearly the entire backlog of legacy cases. In 2018, the court determined 157 applications for leave to appeal, disposed of 128 appeals and delivered 91 reserved judgments.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice of Ireland, was welcomed to Galway earlier today by Professor Ciarán hÓgartaigh, president of NUI Galway, and Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, registrar and deputy president.

The Supreme Court is sitting outside of a courthouse for the first time since 1932 as it hears two planning cases in the Aula Maxima of NUI Galway.

As well as hearing cases, the court will host professional development seminars for the local legal profession and a series of engagements and seminars for law students at the university.gra

Speaking today, Mr Justice Clarke said: “In publishing this inaugural report, it is hoped that the work of the Supreme Court, both inside the courtroom and outside, and both in Ireland and abroad, can be highlighted. I hope that the general public can gain a greater understanding of what it is that the Supreme Court actually does and its role in upholding the Constitution and the law.

“He said that 2018 was a demanding and dynamic year with the Supreme Court determining 157 applications for leave to appeal, disposing of 128 appeals and delivering 91 reserved judgments. Of the appeals disposed of, 67 were appeals brought under the reformed jurisdiction of the court which has operated since the establishment of the Court of Appeal. The court has now effectively disposed of its backlog of legacy cases.

“In 2018, in order to assist the Court of Appeal, the court also disposed of 42 cases which were returned to the Supreme Court having previously been sent to the Court of Appeal for determination.”

Dr Charles O’Mahony, head of NUI Galway School of Law, said: “We are greatly honoured to welcome the Supreme Court to these historic court sittings at NUI Galway. This is the first time that the Supreme Court will sit outside of a courthouse since the Four Courts reopened in 1932, the first time the court sits in Galway, and only its third time to sit outside of Dublin.

“I would like to thank the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court for giving their time so generously by participating in seminars with our students. The Supreme Court are to be commended for their initiatives to engage with the broader community and with our law students. This engagement demystifies the role of the Court, promotes the rule of law and the concept of open justice.”

He added: “The Supreme Court sittings on campus is a timely and fitting way to celebrate 170 years of teaching law and of legal scholarship here at NUI Galway.”

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