While the provision of legal services are considered an ‘essential service’ and will continue, the restrictions imposed under Level 5 will have an impact on court proceedings with many cases unfortunately having to be adjourned.
The Court Services and Judiciary are looking at the following measures:
- With the exception of urgent cases, Civil court cases will be adjourned so that resources can be deployed to support Criminal, Family Law, Child Care Law cases;
- In an attempt to reduce numbers coming to court, in relation to Criminal cases persons who have legal representation should contact their solicitor for advice as to whether to attend court or not. Persons who are not legally represented must attend court.
- Prioritising and supporting applications under the domestic violence legislation will continue.
- With the exception of urgent cases, Civil cases will be adjourned. This is so that resources can be deployed to support urgent matters, Criminal and Family Law cases;
- Ongoing Criminal cases will continue however no new Criminal trials will commence during Level 5. Every effort will be made to finish existing trials;
- Where the above approach is not possible, the situation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on viability and resources.
While a Practice Direction is awaited, the following matters are likely to continue:
- Proceedings and trials currently at hearing, where possible;
- Any proceedings or applications of any nature that can be heard remotely;
- All urgent proceedings and applications;
- All Judicial Review ex parte applications and injunctions;
- Bail applications, sentencing hearings and Article 40 applications (unlawful detention
Supreme Court and Court of Appeal
It is anticipated that cases before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court will continue remotely.
Note: for any person not represented by a solicitor, it is advisable to contact the relevant court office for further information. Otherwise, contact your solicitor who should be able to advise about your case and whether it is likely to proceed during Level 5.
For further information go to https://www.courts.ie/covid-19-response-updates.