2012 In Review - Highs And Lows Of The Courts

Author:Ms Sharon Daly and Darren Maher

Chief Justice Susan Denham recently welcomed the publication of the Courts Service Annual Report 2012, which included a statistical overview of the work of the courts in 2012. Reflecting on the impact of the Courts Service, the Chief Justice noted that "the courts do not operate in a vacuum, but rather their work can be seen as a reflection of the prevailing climate in our society". With this sentiment in mind, the following statistics from the Report are noteworthy:

The Supreme Court which has been in the news lately as a result of its significant backlog, had to deal with 21% more appeals in 2012 than in 2011 but also managed to dispose of more appeals, hear more motions and issue more written judgments in 2012. There was also a 20% increase in appeals from decisions of the Commercial Court. The waiting time for appeals in the Supreme Court increased in 2012 and is now 4 years. Priority cases had an average waiting time of 9 months. D&O insurers may be interested to note that there was a 50% increase in restriction orders against directors and a staggering 350% increase in disqualification orders made against directors by the High Court. Appeals to the Supreme Court of Companies Acts cases rose by 138%. Meanwhile the workload of...

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