Junior justice minister James Browne (pictured) has told the Dáil that a working group set up to advise the Government on judicial numbers is expected to produce its report this autumn.
He was responding to a question earlier this week from Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless, who had asked about plans to increase the number of judges, pointing to “a significant gap” between the figures for Ireland and those of other European countries.
Minister Browne said that the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee had just received an interim progress report from the chair of the Judicial Planning Working Group, the former Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills Brigid McManus.
The group, set up last year, is looking at the judicial resources that will be needed by all courts over the next five years.
The Government had asked the OECD to carry out independent research to inform the group’s work, but minister Browne said that it had taken longer than originally anticipated for the OECD to complete its work, “due to the complexity of evaluating the data and analysis underpinning the research”.
According to the recently published EU Justice Scoreboard 2022, Ireland had the lowest number of judges per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU in 2020.