Review of the Administration of Civil Justice Report released
This week saw the release of the long awaited "Review of the Administration of Civil Justice Report" (The Report). The Report was produced over a number of years by a group of judges and key stakeholders in the legal system with former President of the High Court Mr. Peter Kelly chairing the committee. In creating its recommendations, the Report engaged in public consultation alongside compiling extensive research into how civil justice is administered in other jurisdictions.
The Report has now been handed to the Minister for Justice to review the recommendations and decide what changes to introduce with a view to improving access to civil justice in the State. The Report assesses various areas connected with the practice of law in Ireland but had an overarching remit to examine the current administration of civil justice with a view to improving access to justice and reducing the cost of litigation.
The conclusions and recommendations set out in the report encompass over 90 specific measures. Some of the key recommendations are listed below:
- The introduction of a procedure for automatic discontinuance of cases.
- The appointment of suitably qualified court officers as Deputy Masters to preside at case management conferences.
- The introduction of a single originating document – a claim notice to include a detailed statement of claim to replace the various types of originating document currently in use.
- A programme of simplification of the language and terminology in the rules of court.
- The establishment of a specialist list for clinical negligence actions and a dedicated list, as an adjunct to the Commercial Court, to hear and determine intellectual property disputes and disputes concerning technology.
- A revised system of periodic payment orders.
- Changes to the discovery procedure alongside court rules specifically obliging parties to plead their case with far greater particularity and precision.
- Changes to the threshold for bringing judicial review applications.
- The introduction of rules of court for a comprehensive multi-party action procedure in the High Court and the Circuit Court.
- The drawing up of guidelines as to costs levels (though there was no consensus on this issue).
- Permission for third party funding of litigation for liquidators, receivers and administrators in certain circumstances.
- The use of video-conferencing for the taking of expert and other evidence.
As the report is studied and analysed over the coming months we will be creating bespoke updates dealing with some of the major changes suggested and how they may impact on how the system currently operates.
For further information please contact Helen O'Connor, Knowledge Lawyer or Ciaran Joyce, Knowledge Lawyer or any member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team.
Date published: 9 December 2020