Changes in High Court Work from 28 June

01/06/2021

The President of the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, has published an update on physical hearings for certain categories of cases.

four courts physical hearings

Having regard to the current public health situation, the High Court (with the agreement of the Courts Service) is satisfied that it can safely make some adjustments to its programme of work for the Trinity term.

Affected cases

The proposed adjustments will relate solely to the manner in which the cases listed below will be heard and will only commence as and from 28 June 2021.

  1. Personal injuries actions in Dublin,
  2. Personal injuries actions at Galway (28 June - 9 July) and Cork (12 July - 23 July),
  3. Circuit Appeals at Galway (12-16 July), Castlebar (19-23 July), Letterkenny (26-30 July) and Dundalk (26-30 July),
  4. Cork Non Jury actions: (28 June-9 July)

All other High Court work will proceed in accordance with the 10 May notice on the Courts Service website.

Precautions and procedure

Insofar as the four categories of work above mentioned are concerned, the following procedures and health and safety precautions will apply to the four categories of work listed above:

  • The list each day will be called over remotely.
  • Whilst parties with cases in the above categories are strongly encouraged to opt for a remote hearing, physical hearings of non-urgent cases may resume.  However, witnesses should be kept to a minimum and should only attend the courtroom when their presence is required.
  • Pre-trial consultations and negotiations should be held well in advance of the proposed hearing date to ensure that they can be carried out safely and in a socially distanced manner. They should not be left until the hearing date because it is not possible to provide facilities where these can be safely carried out in court premises.
  • Parties and their legal representatives shall only enter the premises in which the court is located when the case is due to start and all efforts at negotiation have failed. No further time will be allowed for negotiation at that point. As soon as proceedings conclude, the parties, their witnesses and legal advisors should leave the court precincts promptly.
  • All current public health guidance and the Court’s own Practice Directions regarding social distancing and the wearing of face coverings continue to apply.

The above changes do not apply to any cases listed for hearing prior to 28 June. They are also subject to alteration should there be any change in Covid-19 public health guidance.

Attending court safely

The Courts Service has produced a short video (02:24) outlining some of the key health and safety procedures operating at its buildings, which can be viewed below.