Changes contained in the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 will increase the monetary jurisdiction of the District and Circuit Courts, as follows:-
- the jurisdiction of the District Court in civil proceedings will be up to €15,000.
- the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in civil proceedings (other than personal injury claims) will be up to €75,000. The jurisdiction for defamation in the Circuit Court had previously been increased to €50,000 in 2009.
- the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court for personal injury actions will be up to €60,000.
The changes will take effect from 3 February 2014 in relation to proceedings issued on or after that date. The primary objective of this initiative is the reduction of litigation costs. It may also mean more defamation claims will be issued before a judge sitting alone in the Circuit Court as opposed to the High Court where such claims are heard by a judge and jury.
New District Court Rules including Rules for Scale Costs, new Superior Court Rules and new Fees Orders for all courts are expected to be published in February 2014 to coincide with the introduction of the new jurisdictional limits.