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Frequently asked questions about the Courts Service

What is the origin and function of Courts Service?
How is the Courts Service organised and managed?
How is the Courts Service funded?
Are judges part of the Courts Service?
Where can I find out more about the Courts Service?

What is the origin and function of the Courts Service?

The Courts Service is an independent corporate organisation set up in November 1999 by the Courts Service Act, 1998. We were set up to:

  • manage the courts;
  • provide support services for the judges;
  • provide information on the courts system to the public;
  • provide, manage and maintain court buildings; and
  • provide facilities for people who use the courts.


How is the Courts Service organised and managed?

We are governed by a Board including a chairperson (the Chief Justice or another judge of the Supreme Court chosen by him or her) and seventeen members. The Board decides on policies and the Chief Executive Officer oversees how they are to be put into practice.


How is the Courts Service funded?

The Irish State provides funding. The Courts Service is accountable to the Minister for Justice and Equality and, through the Minister, to the Government and to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee for money spent and value-for-money provisions.


Are judges part of the Courts Service?

The functions of the Courts Service do not include the administration of justice nor is the Service accountable for judicial decisions. Judges are totally independent when carrying out their judicial functions. They are employed directly by the State and not by the Courts Service. They act as members of the Courts Service Board or Committees of the Board in an administrative capacity.


Where can I find out more about the Courts Service?

Reports of the Working Group on a Courts Commission - which was the group originally set up by Government in 1996 to examine the administrative structure which existed at that time and to produce recomendations for reform. The group produced 6 reports and a number of working papers over a three year period. These formed the blueprint for the Courts Service model which was enacted by the Courts Service Act 1998.

The Courts Service Strategic Plan charts the major goals which we will focus on achieving over the three years of the Plan.

The Courts Service Annual Reports chart developments for the period since ourestablishment in November 1999. They include reports on the progress made to date in the implementation of our programme of reform and modernisation.

The Courts Service News magazine is printed and distributed 4 times a year to judges, staff and various users of the courts.

Further information on the Courts Service is available from:

The Courts Service
Information Office
15/24 Phoenix Street North
Dublin 7.

This page updated: 28 November 2017