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Rules of the Superior Courts

Order: 118

Sittings and vacations

The below amendment(s) have been made to this instrument which can be viewed by clicking on the link(s):

No118-S.I. No. 253 Of 2004: Rules Of The Superior Courts (Amendment To Order 118), 2004
No118-S.I. No. 354 Of 2009: Rules Of The Superior Courts (Opening Hours Of Offices) 2009
No118-S.I. No. 485 Of 2014: Rules Of The Superior Courts (Court Of Appeal Act 2014) 2014


1. The sittings of the Supreme Court and the sittings in Dublin of the High Court shall be four in every year, viz.: the Michaelmas sittings, the Hilary sittings, the Easter sittings and the Trinity sittings. The Michaelmas sittings shall begin on the first Monday in October and end on the 21st December; the Hilary sittings shall begin on the 11th January and end on the Friday of the week preceding the Easter vacation; the Easter sittings shall begin on the Monday of the week following the Easter vacation and end on the Thursday preceding Whit Sunday; and the Trinity sittings shall begin on the Wednesday of the week following Whitsun week and end on the 31st July, provided that, if the 11th January shall be a Saturday or Sunday, the Hilary sittings shall begin on the following Monday.

2. The vacations to be observed in the several Courts and offices of the Supreme Court and the High Court shall be four in every year, viz.: the Christmas vacation, the Easter vacation, the Whitsun vacation and the Long vacation. The Christmas vacation shall begin on the 24th December and end on the 6th January. The Easter vacation shall begin on the Monday of the week before Easter week and end on the Saturday of Easter week. The Whitsun vacation shall begin on the Friday of the week preceding Whitsun and end on the Saturday of Whitsun Week. The Long vacation shall begin on the 1st August and end on the 30th September.

3. The days of commencement and termination of each sittings and vacation shall be included in such sittings and vacation respectively.

4. (1) The several offices of the Supreme Court and of the High Court shall be open for public business on every day of the year except Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day and the seven next following days, St. Patrick's Day, Good Friday, Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week and the days duly appointed to be observed as public holidays in public offices.

(2) The hours during which such offices are open for public business shall be as follows:—

      (a) during the sittings, from half past ten o'clock in the forenoon to half past four o'clock in the afternoon;

      (b) during the Long vacation, from half past ten o'clock in the forenoon to one o'clock in the afternoon;

      (c) during other vacations, from half past ten o'clock in the forenoon to two o'clock in the afternoon.

5. One of the Judges of the High Court shall be selected at the beginning of each Long vacation for the hearing in Dublin during vacation of all such applications as may require to be immediately or promptly heard. Such Judge shall act as vacation Judge for one year from his selection. In the absence of arrangement between the Judges, the vacation Judge shall be the Judge last appointed if he has not already served as vacation Judge for two years, and, if he has already so served, then the vacation Judge shall be the junior Judge who has not served for two years according to juniority of appointment, and if and whenever all the Judges have served for two years, then and is such event each Judge in succession in order of juniority shall act as vacation Judge for one year. Any other Judge of the High Court may sit in vacation for any vacation Judge. The Chief Justice shall not be liable to act as vacation Judge.

6. Any interval between the sittings of the High Court, not included in a vacation, shall, so far as the disposal of business by the vacation Judge is concerned, be deemed to be a portion of the vacation.