Responding to the announcement that a number of additional judges are to be appointed to the Court of Appeal, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Jim O’Callaghan TD said, “Since its introduction in 2014, the Court of Appeal has been instrumental in addressing the long standing backlog of cases at Supreme Court level.

“While gains have been achieved in shortening the waiting time for a hearing, as I have been highlighting for the past number of years, the timeframe still remains too long. The appointment of six additional judges is crucial in ensuring timely access to the courts.

There can be a common misconception that judicial appointments are for the convenience of judges or practicing lawyers. In fact, the appointment of judges and the consequent reduction in court delays benefits the citizen. These additional appointments are required in order to ensure that citizens who appear before our courts, who are anxious to secure and seek justice, have an opportunity to have their rights vindicated without undue delay.

“Failing to address the backlogs would do little else but interfere with the constitutional rights of citizens and the families of victims of crime to have their cases heard promptly.

“The fact that there will now be fifteen judges tasked with alleviating the volume of hearings waiting to be heard at the Court of Appeal will come as a relief to those who continue to wait for their opportunity to secure justice,” he concluded.