The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly will chair a new review group to examine the current administration of civil justice with a view to delivering a more efficient and effective Irish legal system.

The announcement of the review group was made by Frances Fitzgerald, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, who confirmed that the Department of Justice and Equality will play an active part in the review. The group will report back to the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality within two years.

The stated aims of the review group include improving access to justice, reducing the costs of litigation, improving procedures to ensure timely hearings and removing over-complex rules of procedure. Mr Justice Peter Kelly was instrumental in recently implementing new High Court rules to increase efficiency and expediency (see our previous blogs here: New High Court Rules Strive for Efficiency and Expediency and Update on new court rules).

The review group will also assess the possible use of e-litigation / e-filing, and the extent to which court documents should be accessible online, which is likely to be of particular interest to media groups. The group will also be asked to identify steps to achieve more effective outcomes for court users with particular emphasis on vulnerable court users including children.

The group will look at the Law Reform Commission report on Consolidation and Reform of the Courts Acts published in 2010 and the legal costs provisions of the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015, which have not yet been commenced.

A link to the Tánaiste’s announcement of the review group can be found here.