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Written Answers - Courts Service

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 81.  Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the limited number of registrars due to the public sector recruitment embargo is having a negative impact on the number of cases that can be heard in the High Court; if he is monitoring the delays that this is causing; and his plans to rectify this matter. [6540/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, the management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions. To be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made. The Courts Service has informed me that, in allocating resources, the Courts Service is prioritising the provision of its front line services, including court sittings. The full complement of High Court registrars is 28 and there are three vacancies. These posts have [357]been identified as key operational posts. Discussions are under way with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to fill these vacancies. I am informed that every effort is being made, in conjunction with the President and the judges of the High Court, to limit the impact of these vacancies on court hearings. A contingency plan has been implemented with the agreement of the President of the High Court whereby temporary provisions have been made in respect of two of the three current vacancies. I am informed that due to this contingency plan and the continued efforts of management and serving registrars. the impact on waiting times for trials has so far been minimised. The service will continue to work with the President of the High Court in keeping waiting times under review and supporting court hearings.

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