Dispute resolution—Ireland—Q&A guide [Archived, 2020 edition]

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dispute resolution—Ireland—Q&A guide [Archived, 2020 edition]
  • 1. What is the structure of the civil court system?
  • 2. What is the role of the judge and the jury in civil proceedings?
  • 3. What are the time limits for bringing civil claims?
  • 4. Are there any pre-action considerations the parties should take into account?
  • 5. How are civil proceedings commenced? How and when are the parties to the proceedings notified of their commencement? Do the courts have the capacity to handle their caseload?
  • 6. What is the typical procedure and timetable for a civil claim?
  • 7. Can the parties control the procedure and the timetable?
  • 8. Is there a duty to preserve documents and other evidence pending trial? Must parties share relevant documents (including those unhelpful to their case)?
  • 9. Are any documents privileged? Would advice from an in-house lawyer (whether local or foreign) also be privileged?
  • More...

Dispute resolution—Ireland—Q&A guide [Archived, 2020 edition]

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to dispute resolution in Ireland published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: April 2020).

Authors: Matheson—Claire McLoughlin; Karen Reynolds

1. What is the structure of the civil court system?

Ireland's civil court system is composed of five levels, which are regulated by the Courts (Supplemental) Provisions Act 1961. The District Court comprises 64 judges. The business of the District Court is primarily divided into criminal, civil, family law and licensing matters. The civil jurisdiction of the District Court in contract and most other matters is €15,000. It also deals with small claims matters below €2,000. Decisions of the District Court can be appealed to the Circuit Court with some exceptions.

The Circuit Court consists of 38 judges and six specialist judges. The business of the Circuit Court is divided into civil, family and criminal matters. The civil jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in proceedings other than personal injury claims is limited to €75,000 (in personal injury cases it is €60,000). The Circuit Court and High Court have concurrent jurisdiction in the area of family law. The Circuit Court also acts as an appeal court for appeals from the decisions of the Labour Court, Unfair Dismissals Tribunal and the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

The High Court comprises 37 judges.

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