Timeline for Implementation of Reforms outlined in Kelly Report

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Timeline for Implementation of Reforms outlined in Kelly Report

Published 28 julio 2022

As practitioners will be aware the October 2020 Report of the Review of the Administration of Civil Justice (“The Kelly Report”), included in excess of 90 recommendations intended to reform the process of civil justice, with the objective of enabling speedier and more cost effective access to civil justice thereby reducing both the costs and delays associated with litigation in Ireland. The recommendations included in The Kelly Report range from those that require minimal administrative change right through to recommendations which will require the implementation of primary legislation. To date we have already seen progress on the back of The Kelly Report demonstrated by changes to the Rules of the Superior Courts, relating to timelines applied to civil proceedings specifically the delivery of pleadings.

The Department of Justice has now published its’ Implementation Plan in relation these recommendations, suggesting that we may be on the cusp of the most significant reforms to Civil Law in the history of the State. By itemising the key actions for implementation arising from The Kelly Report it is clear that there is an intention for these proposals to be driven forward.  

Some of the key actions that have been identified for implementation include:

  • The replacement of multiple Court documents with a single document by which to commence legal proceedings;
  • The simplification of the language and terminology used in Rules of Court;
  • The promotion of video conferencing for the taking of expert and other evidence;
  • The creation of an online information hub to provide dedicated legal and practical information for those considering bringing proceedings without the assistance of professional representation;
  • The standardisation of arrangements for naming and vetting of suitability of next friend or guardian ad litem to act on behalf of a child in litigation;
  • Updated Courts Service customer charters to provide more specific measurements for performance and service levels;
  • Legislation to provide for an introduction of a more efficient and more cost effective regime for discovery and to automatically discontinue cases not progressed in 30 months.

As practitioners will appreciate, the steps proposed to reform the discovery regime in particular are extremely welcome, however, in circumstances where primary legislation is required to do so, it is unlikely to happen swiftly. Similarly, the proposal that automatic discontinuance of proceedings would take place after a set period of time is, again, welcomed by practitioners and will have a profound impact on some of the more historical matters which remain live within the Courts system. Again, however, the passage of legislation is necessary to enact this advancing reform.

The Implementation Plan proposes that these actions will be the focus of progress and advancement over the next three years, which is a welcome update and one to watch.

Authors

Lisa Broderick

Lisa Broderick

Dublin

+353 (0) 1 231 9683

Rowena McCormack

Rowena McCormack

Dublin

+353 (0)1 231 9628

Julie-Anne Binchy

Julie-Anne Binchy

Dublin

+353 (0) 123 19636

Charlotte Burke

Charlotte Burke

Dublin

+353 (0)1 2319679

David Freeman

David Freeman

Dublin

+353 1588 2558

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