Judges of the High Court
The High Court consists of the President and thirty six ordinary judges. The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, and the President of the Circuit Court are, by virtue of their office, additional judges of the High Court. The High Court has full jurisdiction in and power to determine all matters and questions whether of law or fact, civil or criminal. Its jurisdiction also extends to the question of the validity of any law having regard to the Constitution. The High Court acts as an appeal court from the Circuit Court in civil matters. It has power to review the decisions of certain tribunals. It may also give rulings on questions of law submitted by the District Court. A person granted bail in the District Court may apply to the High Court to vary the conditions of bail. If the District Court refuses bail, application may be made to the High Court. A person charged with murder can only apply to the High Court for bail. The High Court exercising its criminal jurisdiction is known as the Central Criminal Court.
The High Court sits in Dublin to hear original actions. It also hears personal injury and fatal injury actions in several provincial locations, (Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, Dundalk, Kilkenny and Ennis), at specified times during the year. In addition, the High Court sits in provincial venues to hear appeals from the Circuit Court in civil and family law matters.
Matters coming before the High Court are normally heard and determined by one judge but the President of the High Court may decide that any cause or matter or any part thereof may be heard by three judges in what is known as a divisional court.
Appeals in civil proceedings from the High Court which prior to the Thirty-third amendment to the Constitution would have been heard by the Supreme Court now lie to the Court of Appeal, except for those cases in which the Supreme Court has permitted an appeal to it on being satisfied that the appeal meets the threshold set out in Article 34.5.4° (a 'Leap Frog' appeal). This follows the establishment of the Court of Appeal on 28th October 2014.
This page updated: 7 November 2014