The Thirty-third Amendment of the Constitution (Court of Appeal) Bill 2013 has been published provides for the establishment of a Court of Appeal has been published. The new Court will be established provided it is approved in a Referendum to be held in early October.
The main features of the Bill published today are: The Court of Appeal will have civil and criminal jurisdiction and will replace the Court of Criminal Appeal, for criminal cases; there will be a right of appeal of all cases, including those involving constitutional issues, from the High Court to the Court of Appeal; in exceptional circumstances, there will be a right of appeal from the High Court to the Supreme Court; if the Referendum is passed, the Oireachtas will bring forward legislation to provide for the establishment of the Court of Appeal. The Government will then make an order appointing a day on which the court will be established. It is expected that the new court will be established in Autumn 2014.
Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD stated upon publication of the Bill: “This is another important staging post on the way to a Referendum in the Autumn and hopefully a reform of our courts architecture that is long overdue. I am looking forward to debating the Bill in the Houses and to the wider discussion with the public between now and October. We are on the cusp of taking a major step towards modernising the architecture of our superior courts system in Ireland to facilitate cases being heard expeditiously in the most appropriate forum.”