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Physical hearings for all High Court witness actions
Ms Justice Mary Irvine Pic: RollingNews.ie

24 Sep 2021 / courts Print

Physical hearings for all High Court witness actions

The President of the High Court has said that all witness actions in the court will be listed for a physical hearing from 4 October.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine (pictured) said that this would be the default position until further notice.

In a notice on the Courts Service website, the president said that some proceedings would still be listed for a remote hearing – including some that did not require oral evidence, and many applications normally heard on a Monday.

“Only proceedings and applications that can he heard as fairly and effectively as they would be heard in the course of a physical hearing will be listed for a remote hearing,” she said.

The president said that the plan was designed to ensure that the High Court could maximise its work output, while protecting the safety and welfare of all involved in the administration of justice.

Croke Park to be used

Under the plan, all civil jury actions will be listed for physical hearings, which will take place in Croke Park in Dublin 1.

Chancery proceedings will also be listed for a physical hearing, though cases may be heard remotely where the parties agree, or by direction of the court.

The president said that hybrid hearings should be availed of wherever possible in the Commercial Court, but that the court would sit physically to hear these actions. Similar guidance applies for personal-injury hearings.

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, all family-law proceedings will be afforded a physical hearing.

New requirement for criminal trials

For non-jury, judicial review or asylum proceedings, physical hearings will take place where witness evidence is required, or where cases will take more than one and a half days to be heard.

A number of other matters – including judicial review ex parte applications, case-management lists, and call-over lists – will continue to heard remotely.

Wardship applications and procedures will be heard remotely.

Criminal proceedings will continue as in the previous term, but the prosecution and defence must now give written notice to the registrar of the Central Criminal Court if it is anticipated that a trial will go on for longer than three weeks.

Most Monday applications and motion lists will continue to be heard remotely, but the CAB and personal-insolvency lists will take place physically. The monthly list for the restriction or disqualification of directors will continue to be heard physically.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland