The Court Of Appeals: Why I’m Voting “Yes”

Short and sweet.

Some might be a bit suspicious of a government measure that has such a wholesale lack of opposition as this, but it seems as if the proposed Court of Appeals really is just that unobjectionable. A method to ease the congestion surrounding the Supreme Court, get important cases seen to faster, and bring about a greater fluidity to the upper echelons of the Irish legal system.

There are only a tiny amount of objections to this proposed court that I had, and they are minuscule in importance. The primary one was simply a concern that it would, opposite to its intention, bring about greater congestion as people simply appealed verdicts further on up the line to the Supreme Court. However, I have since been educated that the vast majority of cases that the Court of Appeals hears will see their last stop at that hearing, and will not be capable of being appealed further to the Supreme Court, which will see its role go back to what it was intended to be – only the very largest cases, like issue relating to the Irish constitution. And if a matter of “public importance” necessitates it, the Supreme Court will allow a further appeals process.

What else is there? I suppose there will be a cost involved in the creation of a new court level, but one that is hardly enough to justify scrapping the idea. Fears of lower court judge’s ruling on issues that should be above their pay grade? That’s a subjective thought process, and I see no reason why some important issues can’t be taken at this new Court of Appeals rather than being turfed up the line to the highest authority for a four year wait.

I just can’t see enough to bring me to vote “No.” Some have complained about the lack of debate, but the bill is supported by so many, that the possibilities for debate are extremely limited. There is no conspiracy, no gag order, no mischievousness. There just isn’t anything to talk about. Can you name a party or politician who opposes this legislation, who you’d put on a panel opposite the Taoiseach?

Vote “Yes”. Streamlining the process of appeals is important, and this is a perfectly fine way to do it.

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