Presentation of Courts Service Annual Report 2015
The Chief Justice, Mrs. Justice Susan Denham, presented the Courts Service Annual Report 2015 to the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice & Equality, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, at an event in Phoenix House today.
The report indicates that the courts in Ireland courts received almost 700,000 criminal, civil and family law matters during the year. Over 436,000 of these matters related to criminal offences. The prevalence of road traffic offences is highlighted by the fact that over 60% of criminal cases before the District Court related to such offences. Over 45% of cases in the Circuit Court related to fraud/theft/robbery offences while the Central Criminal Court held 73 trials. The civil business of the courts saw increases in applications for possession and by those seeking to be made bankrupt.
The business of the courts is managed at a greatly reduced cost to previous years with the operating costs to the State 40% less than they were 8-10 years ago.
Court infrastructural improvement projects included the commencement of seven new building projects by the end of 2015. A renewed investment in information and communication projects will bring a range of benefits including the filing of licensing applications and other documents online.
Presenting the Annual Report, the Chief Justice said “This report gives a detailed account of the efforts of so many people, across every county, and in each jurisdiction to bring the courts and services to all areas of the country. It contains not only the numbers who came to court for whatever reason, but a reflection in those numbers of the issues affecting the community. They reflect the citizen facing peril by the decisions of others, the business person facing difficulties in progressing a plan, or the individual facing the consequences of the weakness of the human condition. The cases where people resort to court to seek remedies are many and varied and are a challenge to the judiciary and to the staff of the Courts Service”.
She concluded by saying “I wish to convey to you the commitment and professionalism of the staff of the Courts Service who are in direct contact with persons at a vulnerable time and who seek protection and remedy from the courts. The work of the staff of the Courts Service is of the highest standard of public service. I thank them for their commitment to this important branch of Government”.