Commercial Court grinds to a standstill for want of judges

Delayed appointments mean that, for first time in court’s 10-year history, no judges are available to hears cases this week


Mary Carolan

Delays in the appointment of new judges to the High Court means there are no judges available to hear cases in the Commercial Court this week, the first time that has happened in the court’s 10 year history.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern, who manages the court’s list, said today he hoped the position would be rectified shortly by the Government.

The judge told lawyers today the departure of experienced Commercial Court judges to the new Court of Appeal, and the fact the judges allocated to the Commercial Court are all at hearing, means there is no judge free to take up any of the cases fixed for hearing this week.

The Court of Appeal will be established on October 28th and the effect of that is those judges who are preparing to take up positions on the new court have to finalise existing judgments and other matters and cannot take up new Commercial Court cases, he added.

The Government last week approved the appointment of four new judges to the High Court but approval for a further three positions remains outstanding. That approval may be forthcoming this week.