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Court of Appeal to get more judges to deal with backlog of cases

The number of judges in the court is set to be increased from nine to fifteen.

Image: Niall Carson PA Images

THE GOVERNMENT HAS approved new legislation to increase the number of judges in the Court of Appeal to deal with the backlog of cases. 

The number of judges in the court, which hears appeals in civil proceedings from the High Court, is set to be increased from nine to fifteen.

The new legislation will create three divisions of the Court of Appeal – civil cases, criminal cases, and backlog cases. 

According to the Courts Services 2017 annual report, when the court was established in 2014, a backlog of 1355 civil cases was transferred to the Court of Appeal.

At the end of 2017, of those 1355 cases, only 649 have been resolved.

Speaking today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is all about bringing down wait times for cases to be heard.

There are now wait times of 20-24 months and “for some cases that is far too long,” said the Taoiseach.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court launched its first annual report in which it stated that the waiting time for an appeal to be heard in the country’s highest court had been cut from almost five years to one.

Chief Justice Mr Justice Frank Clarke said that the establishment of the Court of Appeal in 2014 “has changed the structure of the caseload of the Court”.

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Adam Daly

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