With effect from the 3 October, 2022 and until further notice the following is a summary of the manner in which proceedings and applications will be heard in the High Court.
The default position will be that all witness actions, i.e. cases involving oral evidence will be listed for a physical/in person hearing.
Certain proceedings or applications which do not require oral evidence may be listed for a fully remote hearing or for a hybrid hearing where the judge will sit physically in the court with the registrar and the legal practitioners and the parties themselves will have the option of attending and participating remotely or in person, subject always to compliance with current courtroom capacity numbers which will be enforced by the judge (see details below).
Many motions and applications heard on a Monday which have up to now been heard remotely will now be heard on a hybrid basis with the option of remote or physical/in person participation. Some motion and application lists will continue to be conducted remotely.
Only proceedings and applications that can be heard as fairly and effectively as they would in the case of a physical/in person hearing will be listed for a remote hearing or a hybrid hearing.
In all cases, parties will be entitled to apply to have their case listed otherwise than in accordance with the default position indicated in this notice.
Virtual Court Links
Where (a) a hearing is being conducted on a fully remote basis and (b) where one or more of the parties wishes to participate remotely in the case of a hybrid hearing, it will be necessary to obtain the relevant log in details.
For members of the legal profession, Virtual Courtroom Login Details for the Michaelmas term for individual High Court Judges can be found at the following websites:
For anyone who is unrepresented and a party to a matter before the High Court please contact HighCourtVMR@courts.ie. When contacting please provide the name of the case, record number, court date and Judge (if known) and how you are associated with the matter before the court i.e. plaintiff, defendant, respondent or other.
Due to limits on the number of participants for which the remote hearing platform has capacity, please ensure you make your connection proximate to when your matter will be called and, when finished, please ensure to disconnect to ensure others can access the remote hearing.
Physical/In Person, Remote and Hybrid Hearings
By way of explanation, a physical/in person hearing is one in which the judge, the registrar and all of the participants involved in the hearing appear in person in the court. A remote hearing is one in which the participants do not appear in person in the court but rather take part in the hearing on a remote basis using the links provided.
A hybrid hearing is one in which the judge and the registrar sit physically in court and the practitioners and litigants have the option to attend and participate either in person in court or remotely. It is important to stress that any practitioner or litigant who choses to participate remotely will have the same ability and entitlement to address the court as they would if physically present in person in court. While the judge and the registrar will be present in person in court, there is no obligation on practitioners or litigants to appear in person. They are entitled, if they wish, to participate remotely. Hybrid hearings have been taking place in several of the court lists over the past two years and have worked well. However, in order to ensure that hybrid hearings work effectively and smoothly, it is essential that all participants in such hearings must bear in mind at all times that they must be capable of being seen not only by the judge but also by the other party or parties in the case. They must also ensure that their submissions are capable of being heard not only by the judge but also by the other party or parties. This means that those who choose to participate physically in such hearings will need to ensure that they address the court sufficiently close to the microphones and the cameras in court so that they can be seen and heard by any party or parties who choose to participate remotely in the hearing. Those who choose to participate remotely in a hybrid hearing will need to ensure that they have a sufficiently strong internet connection to ensure that they can clearly be seen and heard on the screen or screens in the court by the judge and by the other party or parties.
Due to the increase in the number of technology enabled courts in the Four Courts complex as well as the stated wish of some practitioners and litigants to have more physical/in person hearings, it has been decided to expand the number of lists and types of cases and applications which can be heard on a hybrid basis from 3rd October, 2022. It must be stressed, however, that there are still some limits on the numbers of persons who can attend in person in court. The capacity numbers for each courtroom are published in the Legal Diary. Those who exercise the option of attending and participating in person at a hybrid hearing must ensure that the applicable capacity limits are not exceeded. The judge will ensure compliance with the capacity limits. The cooperation of all practitioners and litigants will be required to ensure that hybrid hearings can proceed in an efficient and effective manner. In the event of significant difficulties, I will review the new arrangements in place for hybrid hearings and may direct a return to remote hearings, where appropriate.
A. Substantive Civil Proceedings
1. Chancery proceedings
(i) The default position will be that, unless otherwise ordered, all actions will be listed for a physical/in person hearing. Cases may be heard remotely by direction of the court.
(ii) In every case, regardless of whether the hearing is to be conducted physically/in person or remotely or on a hybrid basis, papers should be lodged in accordance with current practice by no later than 14:00 on the Thursday of the previous week.
(iii) Every Thursday the cases for the following week will be called over remotely at 10a.m..
(a) The call over each morning will be taken physically/in person at 10.30am that day
(b) the List For Mention and List to Fix Dates on Thursdays will be heard on a hybrid basis.
2. Civil Jury actions
(i) All Civil Jury actions will be listed for a physical hearing and will be heard in the Four Courts complex.
(ii) The list of cases scheduled for hearing from 8th November 2022 to 25th November, 2022 will be called over remotely on the 8th October 2022.
(iii) During the sessions, a physical/in person call over will take place at 10.30 am each day.
(iv) Hard copy papers must be lodged by 1pm on the Thursday which precedes the hearing date.
3. Commercial Court proceedings
(i) The default position will be that, unless otherwise directed by the court in an individual case, all matters due to be heard on Tuesdays to Fridays will be listed for a physical hearing. However, with leave of the court, hybrid hearings and fully remote hearings will be accommodated where the parties make the necessary arrangements to enable such hearings to take place. The court also reserves the right to direct a hybrid hearing or a fully remote hearing where it considers it to be appropriate to do so.
(ii) All matters listed for mention before the court will be listed remotely unless otherwise directed.
(iii) The Friday call over will also take place remotely unless otherwise directed.
(iv) In the case of the Monday motion list, it is proposed that, for a trial period, this will be heard on a hybrid basis. Please refer to the earlier section of this notice which explains the basis on which hybrid hearings will be conducted and the requirements of all participants in hearings conducted on a hybrid basis.
4. Commercial Planning and SID proceedings
(i) The default position will be that, unless otherwise ordered, all witness actions will be afforded a physical hearing. Witness cases may be heard remotely where the parties agree or where the court so directs.
(ii) In respect of all proceedings or applications which are to be heard solely on affidavit, the default position will be that the proceedings or applications will be heard remotely, unless otherwise directed by the court.
(iii) Parties/practitioners should also consult Practice Direction HC114 which amends Practice Direction HC107 and the Note re listings in the Commercial Planning and SID List and the Note to practitioners regarding the List to fix dates in that List issued by the judge in charge of the List.
(iv) The weekly call over will be held remotely on Mondays in accordance with the existing Practice Direction.
5. Family Law proceedings
(i) The default position will be that, unless otherwise ordered, all proceedings will be afforded a physical hearing.
(ii) Applications for a remote or hybrid hearing should be discussed between the parties and made at the List to fix dates. If necessary late applications may be made on another Monday after the hearing date is fixed. Any party wishing to pursue such an application on a Monday after the hearing date is fixed, on consent or otherwise, should, by email to the registrar (copied to the opposing party) request that the case be listed for such purpose on a Monday at least 14 days in advance of the hearing date. The said email should set out the circumstances supporting the application.
(iii) The normal Monday List – i.e. Motions and Directions – will continue to be heard remotely.
6. Special Care List
The Special Care List will continue to be heard remotely.
7. Hague Convention proceedings
The default position will be that all Hague Convention cases, unless otherwise ordered, will continue to be heard remotely.
8. Non-Jury /Judicial Review/Asylum proceedings
(i) The default position will be that physical/in person hearings will take place for the following matters:
a. Non-Jury/Judicial Review/Asylum matters where oral evidence is required; and
b. Cases and applications in which oral evidence is not required but which will take in excess of one and a half days to be heard.
(ii) The call over of cases for hearing for the following week will continue to be heard remotely on Thursdays (at 10:00am). Parties must indicate whether the preference is for a physical, remote or hybrid hearing at the call over of hearings. Applications for physical hearings or hybrid hearings cannot be made to the registrar following the call over of hearings.
(iii) The call over of each day’s cases in the Non-Jury/Judicial Review/Asylum Lists will be heard on a hybrid basis that day.
(iv) The following matters will be heard on a hybrid basis:
a. Non-Jury matters listed for hearing on a Monday, save where witness evidence is required e.g. Circuit Court Appeals.
b. Judicial Review ex parte applications.
c. “For Mention” and “Directions” lists on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
d. Case management list on Wednesdays.
e. Asylum matters.
f. Non-Jury/Judicial Review cases listed each Tuesday and Thursday which will conclude in less than one and a half days where no oral evidence is required.
(iv) Current directions for the lodgement of papers (including written submissions) will continue. Papers must be lodged in all cases, both for physical/in person, hybrid and remote hearings, no later than close of business the previous Thursday.
(v) The legal diary should be consulted for the start times of the list: http://legaldiary.courts.ie/high-court
(v) The legal diary should be consulted for the start times of the lists (select Non Jury (Dublin), Judicial Review or Asylum: http://legaldiary.courts.ie/high-court
If a matter has been assigned for hearing from the Non-Jury, Judicial Review or Asylum Lists, the name of the judge to whom it has been assigned will appear in "Today's Cases" on the Legal Diary and it will not appear in the Non-Jury, Judicial Review or Asylum Lists.
9. Personal Injuries proceedings
(i) The default position will be that, save where otherwise ordered, all cases will be afforded a physical hearing. Parties may avail of hybrid hearings where technically possible and are encouraged to only bring such witnesses as are necessary for the trial to court. Personal injuries actions may be heard fully remotely where the parties agree or by direction of the court.
(ii) The call over each morning will take place at 10:30am on a hybrid basis.
10. Wardship applications.
Save where otherwise ordered, all wardship proceedings and applications will continue to be heard on a hybrid basis.
11. Professional List
This list will continue to be heard on a hybrid basis.
12. Bail Applications
The current arrangements for hearing Bail applications in Cloverhill Court will continue.
13. Extradition Applications
The current arrangements for hearing Extradition applications will continue. Applicants will be physically present where and as required by statute.
B. Criminal Proceedings
1. Central Criminal Court proceedings
The practice to be followed in the Central Criminal Court will remain unchanged. The prosecution and defence must give written notice to the registrar of the court if it is anticipated that a trial will exceed three weeks in duration. If either side anticipate that this will be the case, the notice should contain a statement of the reasons why this is so and a summary of the issues to be canvassed during the course of the trial. Notice of any pre-trial motions must be given to the Court registrar by e-mail and will then be listed for mention before the Court for further directions.
2. Special Criminal Court proceedings
The current arrangements will continue.
C. Monday Applications and Motion Lists
1. Bankruptcy List
Bankruptcy applications will continue to be heard remotely.
2. CAB List
The CAB list will be heard physically. Practitioners and litigants are requested to keep a keen eye on the Legal Diary and on the Courts Service website as this list may be scheduled for a day of the week other than a Monday. The List is currently heard once a month on a Wednesday. Cases may be listed for a special hearing on other dates by the judge in charge of the List.
3. Chancery Motions
(i) All Chancery motions (Lists 1 and 2) will be heard on a hybrid basis every Monday.
(ii) In accordance with current practice, motion papers must be lodged by no later than 14:00 on the previous Thursday.
(iii) All winding up applications will have a physical hearing and will not be heard remotely.
4. Chancery Special Summons List.
All applications will be heard remotely, unless otherwise ordered. A bound paginated booklet for use by the judge to be filed the preceding Wednesday by 1 pm. Adjournments to be notified in advance.
5. Commercial Court Motion List
This list will be heard on a hybrid basis on the terms set out earlier in this notice.
6. Common Law Motion Lists and Common Law Ex Parte
The four Common Law Motion and Common Law Ex Parte Lists will be heard on a hybrid basis in technology enabled courts in the Four Courts complex, which will allow participation by legal practitioners in person or remotely at their option, subject to compliance with courtroom capacity numbers which will be enforced by the judge. Motions for the sitting of the court in List 1 will be heard by way of a physical/in person hearing.
7. Family Law Motions and directions hearings
These will continue to be held remotely.
8. Garda Compensation List
Applications in this list will, unless otherwise directed by the judge, continue to be heard remotely on Mondays at 10:00am.
9. Personal Insolvency List
This list will continue to be heard by way of a physical/in person hearing.
10. Professional List
All applications will continue to be heard on a hybrid basis.
11. Restriction and disqualification of Directors
This list will be heard on a hybrid basis, allowing a physical/in person hearing or a remote hearing at the option of each party.
12. Summary Summons Motion List
This list will be heard on a hybrid basis.
13. Examiner’s Court List
This monthly list will be heard on a hybrid basis. In cases where a respondent to a motion is unrepresented, the applicant must inform the respondent and any notice parties that they may participate remotely or in person (at their option) and, in the event that they do wish to participate remotely, provide the applicant with the relevant VMR details.
14. Wardship Applications
All wardship applications will continue to be heard on a hybrid basis.
15. Rulings in Infant and Fatal injuries claims
All ruling applications will be heard remotely, unless otherwise ordered. Papers to be filed the preceding Wednesday by 1 pm. Papers to include a bound, paginated booklet for use by the judge (in addition to original papers).
I would like to thank all practitioners and parties in advance for their co-operation with the arrangements set out in this notice which are designed to allow flexibility for practitioners and litigants in the manner in which their cases are heard and to ensure that the High Court can continue to work fairly and efficiently and to maximise its work output while protecting the safety and welfare of all involved in the administration of justice. I do reserve the right to alter these arrangements at short notice, if necessary, should it be necessary to do so.
President of the High Court
30th September, 2022