As many as 70,000 District Court cases await hearing
Updated / Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 23:36
The Courts Service has said that between 60,000 and 70,000 District Court cases are currently awaiting hearing because of postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In figures given to 7Lá on TG4 this evening, the Courts Service says that by using a system of staggered case times, that the backlog can be dealt with over the coming months.
Some jury trials have had to be postponed and the Courts Service says that the delay could be anywhere between six and 14 months.
The number of these postponements due to Covid-19 is not clear, as some trials have been adjourned for other reasons.
To assist in initiating as many trials as possible, the Courts Service has identified twelve locations outside of Dublin for the purpose of jury selection.
The Courts Service has seen video links used in 1,700 cases this year. Video links for prisoners have been used four times more often this year than in previous years.
Tom O’Malley, Senior Lecturer of Law in NUI Galway told the programme that he hopes the legislation being discussed by Government regarding pre-hearings before trials will deal with waiting lists and cases being adjourned.
He said the postponement of trials has consequences for all involved, those awaiting a hearing and also for victims of crimes.