The High Court exercising its criminal jurisdiction is known as the Central Criminal Court. It consists of a judge or judges of the High Court. The court sits at such time and in such places as the President of the High Court may direct and tries criminal cases which are outside the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court.
The court mainly hears murder and rape trials and since the Competition Act, 2002 also criminal trials under that Act. Traditionally, the court sat exclusively in Dublin. In recent years the court has sat in Limerick, Sligo, Ennis, Cork and Castlebar.
Normally trials are conducted by a single judge sitting with a jury of twelve people but the President of the High Court may direct two or more judges to sit together for the purpose of a particular trial.
An appeal against conviction or sentence by the Central Criminal Court may be taken to the Court of Appeal.