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Cervical Check tribunal hears just eight claims since set-up
Dr Gabriel Scally, at publication of his final report of scoping inquiry into CervicalCheck screening programme Pic: RollingNews.ie

09 Nov 2021 / ireland Print

CervicalCheck Tribunal hears total of eight claims

Just eight claims have been processed by the CervicalCheck Tribunal in its first year of operation, according to the body’s annual report.

The tribunal opened its doors to claimants last December, following its establishment on 27 October last year, and has dealt with a combination of claims transferred from the High Court and new claims.

The tribunal was set up as an alternative system outside of the court process for dealing with claims arising from the State’s cervical screening programme. 

The CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019 was signed into law on 23 July 2019.

The report details premises’ fit-out costs by the OPW, incurred by the Department of Health, that amounted to €1,627,645.

Rent

Rent on the third floor of the Infinity Building in Smithfield, Dublin 7 (banner picture), came to €303,144 per annum with an additional €112,315 in service charges.

An existing vacancy for a legal secretary remains unfilled, as it is not considered justifiable from a costs’ perspective.

The cost of staffing the tribunal in 2020, including both set-up and operational costs post-establishment, was €199,728, including employer’s PRSI.

Mechanisms were set up to receive claims electronically, as well as one to hear evidence remotely, the report says.

In her foreword, Ms Justice Ann Power (small picture) says that according to the report, some of the tribunal’s “limited number of administrative support staff” were redeployed to other areas of work after a May 2021 review, “pending the receipt of additional claims”.

She adds: “It is true that, thus far, only a small number of claimants have chosen to use the mechanism which the tribunal offers for the prompt resolution of disputes. The reasons for this are beyond the control of the tribunal."

Processed 

“However, such claims as have been lodged are being processed in accordance with the tribunal’s duty to ensure that claims are determined thoroughly, fairly and promptly," she said.

“As chairperson, I have emphasised to all parties who have appeared before the tribunal, its commitment to processing claims expeditiously so that a date for hearing may be allocated at a case management meeting to be held within 30 weeks of a claim being filed.

“I want to acknowledge the cooperation and goodwill that has been shown by all the parties and their legal representatives, to date, whose collaboration with each other and with the tribunal has been evident from the outset.”

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