The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell TD, today announced that he has secured Government approval to bring forward legislation for the appointment of nine extra judges. Two of these judges are to be assigned to the High Court, two to the Circuit Court and five to the District Court.

The additional judges are being appointed to deal with delays and generally speed up the judicial process.

In the case of the High Court, the additional judges will be utilised to minimise waiting periods in the Central Criminal Court and also to fast-track judicial review cases - in particular, review cases arising from major infrastructural projects - thus curbing the growth of judicial review as a delaying tactic.

In the case of the Circuit Court, cases are becoming more complex and, as a consequence, lengthier. The additional judges will speed up the process.

The workload of the District Court is also becoming more complex and lengthy. In particular, additional judges are required in order to fully implement the provisions of the Children Act 2001.

The Tánaiste said that the legislation providing for the additional judges will be enacted as soon as possible.

13 December 2006

Note for Editors

The number of ordinary judges (i.e., excluding Presidents) in each court at present is High Court 31, Circuit Court 33 and District Court 54.