The administration of civil justice in Ireland is broadly derived from 19th Century legislation (in particular the Judicature (Ireland) Act 1877) which has been added to or adjusted in a largely piecemeal way over the years.
Following a Government Decision in 2017, it was announced that a Review Group, to be chaired by the then President of the High Court, Mr. Justice Peter Kelly, would be established to review and reform the administration of civil justice in the State.
The Group was requested to report to the Minister for Justice and make recommendations for changes with a view to improving access to civil justice in the State, promoting early resolution of disputes, reducing the cost of litigation, creating a more responsive and proportionate system and ensuring better outcomes for court users.
The Group held an open call requesting submissions from interested persons or parties in relation to its work. The Group received over 90 submissions which have been considered by the Review Group and a number of specialised sub-committees. Submissions were received from Government Departments, members of the judiciary, legal professionals, academics, non-profit organisations, professional bodies and individual members of the public.
Researchers also reviewed caseload data for the various jurisdictional instances and considered surveys and evaluations of performance of Ireland’s civil justice system taken internationally (EU Justice Scoreboard, Doing Business Reports by World Bank, Global Competitiveness reports of the World Economic Forum etc.). Findings and conclusions of a range of reviews and reports on this topic from other jurisdictions were also examined.
The Review Groups Report is available through the link below.