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Two new judges for the Supreme Court


Following the enactment this week of the necessary legislation to add two judges to the Supreme Court, the Government has agreed to nominate two serving High Court judges to fill these posts. Arrangements will now be made to formally nominate the Hon. Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy and the Hon. Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne for appointment by the President to the Supreme Court.

The creation of these posts brings the total number of Supreme Court judges to 10, including the Chief Justice. The current delay for cases before the Supreme Court is now over four years meaning that someone lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court today would be likely to wait until 2017. The Court of Criminal Appeal also has significant delays. The appointment of these additional judges will help reduce waiting periods by allowing two divisions of the Supreme Court to sit routinely and facilitating additional sittings of the Court of Criminal Appeal. It should be noted that both these courts have arranged sittings during September this year.

The proposed establishment of a dedicated Court of Appeal to encompass both civil and criminal jurisdiction is also designed to address this problem. The necessary Referendum will be held on 4 October next and, if carried, will allow the Court of Appeal to be established during 2014.