It was announced on 8 October 2019 that the Government has appointed seven new judges to the Court of Appeal. These appointments follow the enactment over the summer of the Courts Act 2019 which provides for an increase in the number of ordinary judges sitting on the Court of Appeal to 15 (previously 9).
The seven new judges are existing High Court judges Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, Mr Justice Robert Haughton, Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh and Ms Justice Mary Faherty. Senior counsel Ann Power SC (a former judge of the European Court of Human Rights), Maurice Collins SC and Brian Murray SC complete the appointments.
Six of the new judges will take up their appointment immediately while the seventh, Maurice Collins SC, will begin following the retirement of Mr Justice Michael Peart at the end of this month.
This announcement follows comments made by the Chief Justice in a statement for the start of the new legal year that delays with making these appointments would result in some hearings having to be postponed. It is hoped that these new appointments will assist in reducing the backlog of appeal currently awaiting hearing before the Court of Appeal. The average waiting time for a hearing in the Court of Appeal is currently between 18 months and 2 years.
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