The public and interested parties are being asked to submit their views on the resourcing of the courts over the next five years, including in relation to the number of judges.
The call from the Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys, for submissions to the Judicial Planning Working Group comes in the wake of controversy over the resourcing of the courts.
Earlier this month the Government moved to speed up the appointment of four new High Court judges after the president of the court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, said she might have to cancel a substantial number of hearings, including murder and rape trials, because of a delay in appointing the judges.
During the summer she gave an interview in which she said the High Court alone needed 17 new judges.
The working group is examining the issue of judicial resource needs in all of the courts over the coming five years.
In a call for submissions, Ms Humphreys said that ensuring the courts were adequately resourced to administer justice efficiently and effectively was a priority for the Government.
“I am actively encouraging submissions from the general public on how many and what type of judges are needed to ensure that our courts are adequately resourced to provide efficient administration of justice.”
She said she would also like to hear people’s views on work practices, efficiencies and productivity in the Courts Service, and how to have a judicial system that is modern and responsive.
She said the recent increase by five in the number of High Court judges, bringing the total to 42, was “one of the largest increases in living memory.”
Submissions can be sent by email to email@example.com. The department is asking that all submissions be delivered before November 5th next.