Sir, – Your article notes that there were 661 pending civil cases in the Court of Appeal at the end of 2017 (“Intentions of new laws often hard to discern, Chief Justice says”, July 17th). It is important for the public to understand that this number does not include 706 legacy civil appeals that were transferred in 2014 to the Court of Appeal from the Supreme Court. These cases were already many years old when they were transferred.
It is now three years later, and they remain unresolved.
Thus, at the end of 2017, there were 1367 pending civil cases before the Court of Appeal. There were also another 531 pending criminal cases before the Court of Appeal. In short, the relevant number is not 661 pending cases, but 1,898 pending cases.
The Court of Appeal was supposed to solve the appellate judicial backlog. It has not.
Now, after the new Court of Appeal has been in operation for more than three years, less than half of the legacy backlog has been resolved.
The system has long been broken. It needs to be fixed.
More judges,which was the whole point of the Court of Appeal, has not solved and will not solve the problem. It will just waste the taxpayers’ money and allow the senior judiciary and Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan (like his two ministerial predecessors) to kick the can down the road yet again. – Yours, etc,