Supreme Court transferred 1,355 cases to Court of Appeal since November 2014

Newly established court resolved 30 cases in first two months of its operation

Some 1,355 cases were transferred from the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal when it was established in 2014, figures from the Courts Service show.

The cases were transferred by order of the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Susan Denham to the new court, which has 10 judges and was set up following a referendum in 2013.

It will hear the majority of appeals from decisions of the High Court, freeing up the Supreme Court to deal with cases of general public importance or cases deemed necessary to be heard in the interests of justice.

The Courts Service annual report for 2014 shows that between November 5th, when the Court of Appeal began its work, and December 31st 2014, an additional 118 cases also came directly to it.

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Of these, 84 were ordinary appeals from the High Court, while 34 were expedited appeals, to be dealt with more quickly.

Over the first two months of its operation, the Court of Appeal resolved 30 cases.

The Supreme Court, which currently has nine members, resolved 710 cases in 2014, an increase of 185 per cent.

Forty-nine commercial cases

It determined 582 appeals from the High Court including 99 judicial reviews, 65 chancery cases, 49 commercial cases and 47 personal injury cases. Some 126 cases were withdrawn. The figures also show that in 141 cases, appeals were made by appellants in person and the majority of appeals took one day or less.

The report said the Supreme Court has made significant progress in dealing with its backlog and sat during the summer recess in 2014 to identify appeals that were not proceeding and could be struck out from the court list.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said 2014 was a historic year for the courts with the establishment of the Court of Appeal.

“The establishment of the Court of Appeal provides a long-needed reform of our courts system,” she said.

“It will have significant benefit for individual citizens, but will also maintain the internationally recognised standing of Ireland as a competitive and efficient economy in which to do business.”

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland is a crime writer and former Irish Times journalist