30th March 2022

Chambers Ireland welcomes reforms to the appointment of Justices


“Strengthening the capacity of the courts system is vital to improving our national competitiveness.” said Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive, Ian Talbot.

“The most recent World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” study found the long delays in enforcing contracts are damaging Irish business. With it taking 650 days to resolve disputes the inordinate costs leave many businesses without recourse to the courts.

“Ireland urgently needs to strengthen our judicial bench. To do that we need to employ more Justices so that we can expand the capacity of the courts. The reform of the appointment of these Justices will make the appointment process more transparent, and so less controversial.

“The complexity of our economy has expanded by an order of magnitude since the 1980s, but our courts have not kept pace.

“As we noted in our submission to the Department of Justice last November, the weakness of our Commercial Court is damaging our competitiveness and undermining Irish jobs”

Chambers Ireland’s Head of Policy, Shane Conneely, added,  “We also need to look at the creation of the new Environment and Planning Court, it is in the programme for government, but it urgently needs to be accelerated.

“Our National Development Plan is well resourced, there are great infrastructure projects passing through the development pipeline, but no one knows which will be successful because of planning risks.

“Planning is the single biggest hurdle to our National Development Plan, the greening of our energy networks, and the revival of our town centres.

“The best way to reduce this risk is to have a competent, technically adept, and dedicated court that can speed up the pace at which planning cases are heard and resolved.

“Over the next decade we will be spending €165 Billion on the NDP, Housing for All requires another €100 Billion of public and private monies to be invested in residential properties, meanwhile at least €60 billion is expected to be invested in Commercial property. This level of ambition will not be attainable without a dedicated court being established.

“With planning being such a technical area of law, Minister McEntee’s reforms are likely to ensure that this new court will be overseen by individuals with the specialised understanding that is urgently needed.

– Ends –

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