The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD has announced that a group will be set up to review and reform the administration of civil justice in the Republic of Ireland.
This group is to be chaired by the current President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly.
The Group is to report to the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality within two years.
The Group will make recommendations for changes with a view to improving access to civil justice in the State, promoting early resolution of disputes, reducing the cost of litigation, creating a more responsive and proportionate system and ensuring better outcomes for Court users.
The current system of civil justice is largely derived from the Judicature (Ireland) Act 1877.
The aim of the review is to examine the current administration of civil justice in the State with a view to:
(a) Improving access to justice;
(b) Reducing the cost of litigation including costs to the State;
(c) Improving procedures and practices so as to ensure timely hearings;
(d) The removal of obsolete, unnecessary or over-complex rules of procedure;
(e) Reviewing the law of discovery;
(f) Encouraging alternative methods of dispute resolution;
(g) Reviewing the use of electronic methods of communications including e-litigation;
(h) Examining the extent to which pleadings and submissions and other court documents should be available or accessible on the internet;
(i) Identifying steps to achieve more effective outcomes for court users with particular emphasis on vulnerable court users including children and young persons, impecunious litigants who ineligible for civil legal aid and wards of court