The seven new Judges recently appointed will make the declarations required by the Constitution this week to commence sitting in the Court of Appeal.
The seven are current High Court judges Seamus Noonan, Robert Haughton, Úna Ní Raifeartaigh, and Mary Faherty, as well as senior counsel Ann Power, Brian Murray, and Maurice Collins.
With the retirement of Mr. Justice Peart this increases the number of judges in the Court of Appeal by six. This has resulted in appeal hearing dates now being allocated in March 2020, rather than late 2021, has had been the position. Any party with a current appeal date in 2021 can now also apply to the court to seek an earlier hearing date.
The new appointments are to be welcomed as they will ensure that appeals are dealt with in a timely manner, and the earlier hearing dates should assist in reducing the number appeals lodged simply for the purposes of delay.
The loss of four High Court judges will of course have implications for cases listed there, and it is imperative that the government acts swiftly to make new appointments to that court.