The Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (the Act) passed all stages of the Oireachtas on 18 July 2013, and has been sent to the President for signature. Certain Parts of the Act are due to come into operation by Commencement Order, including Part 3, which provides for the increase in jurisdiction limits. Other Parts of the Act will become law on the date it is signed by the President.

The changes in monetary jurisdiction limits are:

  • Increasing the limit of the Circuit Court to €75,000 from the current €38,092;

  • Increasing the limit in the District Court to €15,000 from €6,384; and

  • Restricting the limit of the Circuit Court to €60,000 for personal injury actions;

Other Key Provisions of the Act include:

  • Appointment of two additional Supreme Court Judges (Commencement: On the date the Act is signed by the President);

  • Transfer of the existing Office of the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy to the Insolvency Service (Commencement: By Ministerial Order);

  • A number of amendments to the Insolvency Act 2012 – mainly technical drafting amendments required to improve the presentation of the Act. The purpose of such amendments is mainly to clarify the documentation to be presented to the appropriate court for its consideration of the debt resolution processes (Commencement: By Ministerial Order);

  • Provision for legal aid and legal advice for coroners’ inquests into the death of persons in involuntary custody of the State. The Act is confined to legal assistance in relation to coroners' inquests and does not provide free legal aid to next-of-kin to pursue civil actions (Commencement: On the date the Act is signed);

  • Modification of the in-camera rule to allow bona fide members of the news media to be present in court, in certain circumstances, when family law and child care proceedings are being heard (Commencement: By Ministerial Order); and

  • Provision for the appointment of up to 3 additional jurors in lengthy complex criminal trials (Commencement: On the date the Act is signed by the President).

Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, As Passed by Dáil Éireann, 17 July 2013