In the aftermath of the then Taoiseach’s statement on St. Patrick’s Day, the Court of Appeal began to make preparations to hear appeals remotely. The first such appeal was heard on 20th April 2020, and since then, some 125 appeals have been heard.
The Court of Appeal continues to deal with a number of appeals on both the Civil side and Criminal side of the Court on a daily basis. On a typical day, appeals are heard in three virtual courtrooms. Appeals for remote hearing are listed in the Legal Diary up to 31st July 2020. It is expected to deal with close on 50 cases during that period. The Court has been in a position to respond positively to requests for priority hearings and would hope to be in a position to continue to do so.
It is intended that the Court of Appeal will sit to deal with appeals during September 2020. Cases will be listed for hearing on both sides of the Court throughout September. It is envisaged that some appeals will be heard remotely, some may be hybrid appeals i.e. cases where the parties or their advocates are present in the courtroom, but the judges are dealing with the case remotely, and others will be traditional physical hearings.
The cases that will be listed on the Civil side in September will, for the most part, be cases which had been listed earlier, but which were not in a position to proceed, because for one reason or another, it was felt that a remote hearing would not be suitable.
On the Criminal side, a number of cases have been given dates in October 2020. These were cases where October dates were requested in the belief that it was more likely that the appeal could proceed by way of a traditional physical hearing on a date in Michaelmas term or at a later stage. On the Criminal side, it is envisaged that it will be possible to assign a date before the end of 2020 to every case where submissions have been filed by the moving party.