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Moves will unblock backlog of cases ‘trapped’ in family law system

05 May 2021 / family law Print

Moves to unblock 'trapped' family law backlog of cases

The Law Society of Ireland and Bar Council of Ireland have welcomed moves by the Courts Service to clear a backlog of cases currently in ‘deadlock’ in the family-law system in Dublin.

The chair of the Law Society’s Family and Child Law Committee said that the list to fix dates, which took place over the past three days before Dublin’s county registrar Rita Considine, would bring joy to many separating couples whose cases have been delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Helen Coughlan has praised the initiative from the Courts Service and the county registrar to clear some of the backlog of judicial separation and divorce cases that are currently trapped in the family-law system in Dublin.


The developments follow “positive engagement” between the Courts Service, the Law Society, and the Bar Council.

A further announcement aimed at clearing the backlog of cases was made today (7 May). The Courts Service said case progression and call-overs in the Dublin Circuit Family Court would start on 12 May.

Helen Coughlan told Gazette.ie: “This is a very welcome development and hopefully marks the start of a number of initiatives following constructive and frank discussions between the Law Society, Bar Council and the Courts Service. 


“This breakthrough was only possible due to the efforts of the county registrar and the staff in the Courts Service who have focused on how to get the family courts moving again.”

The list to fix dates, which is taking place for three days this week, will deliver considerable progress for many separated couples whose cases are currently deadlocked in the system, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, and the consequent knock-on effect on the family law courts during the pandemic.  

“I wish to pay tribute to the Court Service and the county registrar in resolving this issue, which will ultimately help families move on with their lives,” Helen Coughlan added.

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