Changes in the Court of Appeal

Author: Susie Higgins and Noreen McGovern

December 7, 2018

On 11 November 2018, S.I. No. 469 of 2018 was signed into law and will come into operation on 10 December 2018. This statutory instrument amends the Rules of the Court of Appeal by removing the distinction between expedited and ordinary appeals.

Going forward all appeals shall be lodged in the Court of Appeal office no later than 28 days from the perfecting of the order being appealed.

There are currently significant delays in bringing a case to hearing in the Court of Appeal, primarily due to under resourcing. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan recently announced that the number of judges sitting in the Court of Appeal will increase from 9 to 15.  This is welcome news for all practitioners given the backlog in the Court, where at the time of writing, hearing dates for appeals are being listed in 2021!

The Court of Appeal was established to clear a four year backlog of cases in the Supreme Court and to allow the Supreme Court to focus on cases of key importance. We hope that the legislative changes required to allocate additional judges to the Court are implemented in a timely manner. Otherwise the Court of Appeal will become a mirror of our once strained Supreme Court, counteracting the very reason for its foundation.

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