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120 courtrooms now video-enabled – annual report

02 Oct 2023 / courts Print

120 courtrooms now video-enabled – annual report

The amount of court fees collected by the Courts Service rose sharply last year as activity recovered after COVID-19 restrictions, its annual report shows.

Court fees are charged in respect of legal documents lodged and services provided in court offices.

The service collected just under €35.9 million in fees last year – up from €24.8 million in 2021.

This included almost €2.4 million in excise duties on licensing application collected on behalf of Revenue. There were no such payments in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The report also shows that court fines jumped by 40% to €11.3 million.

Fines, fees and other miscellaneous income made up just over 20% of the service’s total funding of last year.

IPS biggest video user

The report shows that, by the end of the year, 120 courtrooms were enabled for video technology – up almost 20% compared with a year earlier.

The courts body says that the Irish Prison Service accounted for almost 70% of the 34,355 video-link calls made in 2022.

Much of the service’s capital spending is accounted for by payments being made for previous construction projects under public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The report provided an update on capital projects under the National Development Plan, saying that a legal conveyancing process was underway in the Island of Geese site in Tralee, which Kerry County Council agreed to sell to the service last year.

The report said that the acquisition of a site in Naas had been completed, while a process was underway to identify a new site in Galway. It added, however, that no suitable site in Navan had yet been identified.

Capital spending up 7%

Total spending also rose, however, to €163.6 million. Current spending rose by 5%, while capital spending was 7% higher.

The report shows that almost 57% of current spending goes towards the operation of the Circuit and District Courts, with 12% going to the superior courts.

Spending linked to COVID-19 dropped from €4.3 million in 2021 to €1.7 million as public-health restrictions were removed.

Almost 30% of capital spending was on technology.

Gazette Desk
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