High Covid-19 rates trigger adjournment of District Court cases

Criminal and family law cases not affected and will be prioritised, says court president

A large number of District Court cases in the Dublin Metropolitan District have been adjourned for another week due to high numbers of Covid-19 cases, including among judges and court staff.

Criminal and family law cases are not affected and will continue to be prioritised, said District Court president Judge Paul Kelly.

The judge told The Irish Times on Friday that about eight judges have Covid-19 and a high number of court staff, as well as gardaí and lawyers, are also affected by the virus.

Up to 130 court staff are either isolating as close contacts or have contracted the disease.

The judge has contacted all District Court judges asking them to forego holidays and make themselves available where they can in an effort to ensure the continuation of as many lists as possible.

Ongoing review

The District Court civil list, which was block adjourned last week, has now been block adjourned for another week, he said.

“The situation will be reviewed on a weekly basis.”

The District Courts have a total 64 judges and Judge Kelly has made a case for the appointment of 18 more District Court judges to the Government-appointed Judicial Resources Working Group, due to report this summer.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell and the presidents of the various courts have asked that all those attending courts wear masks if they can do so and to observe the other public health measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times

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