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New Family Courts

On Saturday 2nd March a significant Seminar took place at which Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, the Chief Justice Susan Denham and Attorney General Maire Whelan and other speakers outlined the need for a reform of the Courts system, in particular the Superior Courts and the Family Court. At the time of the 1937 Constitution, there were seven high Court judges and the Supreme Court dealt with appeals from these judges. Now there are 36 High Court judges and the Supreme Court simply cannot cope with all the appeals cases coming to it. At the moment there is a four year delay. This has implications not only for the litigants themselves and the issues in their cases bit for the country and commercial life and business. The President of the Law Society said it was like a six lane highway converging on a boreen! At the Seminar the Minister announced a plan to establish a specialised Family Court structure, with specialist judges and support services. The Minister is considering what is the best structure and is consulting with others in that regard.

At Walls & Toomey we believe everyone needs prompt and sound legal advice but not everyone needs to go to Court. The Courts should encourage parties to try to resolve matters between themselves with the help of their lawyers at an early stage. The Courts can then be available to deal with those cases where there may be exploitation or abuse or inequality between the parties.