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Establishment Of New Planning & Environment High Court Division Welcomed.

  • Delivery of housing, infrastructure and environmental commitments improved through greater efficiencies.
  • Court a key commitment in the Government’s Housing for All Strategy.
  • New division will enable more efficient management of cases dealing with planning and environmental matters, in particular judicial reviews.

Yesterday the establishment of a new division of the High Court which had been operating on an administrative basis for a number of months and dedicated to daling with Planning and Environmental cases was seen as a major step forward and the fulfilment of a key commitment in the Government’s present ‘Housing for All Strategy’. A ceremonial first sitting yesterday morning, marked its full establishment as a High Court Division

This new division of the High Court will help to improve the delivery of housing by reducing planning delays, and will remain a key commitment in the Housing for All strategy, thus introducing much needed reforms. It will also allow for greater efficiency and specialism in the handling of litigation relating to planning and environmental matters, particularly judicial reviews.

Dealing with such cases in an effective and efficient manner is key to enabling the State’s delivery of housing and infrastructure, while also protecting the environment.

Yesterday marked the culmination of extensive engagement and consultation between the Courts Service and a number of other Government Departments; in particular the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

The new High Court division is to become fully operational following the assignment of a third additional High Court judge and the publication by the President of the High Court of ‘Practice Direction HC 124’, which took effect from yesterday, December 11th 2023.

This also follows the appointment by the Government of 24 additional judges in February last, to increase resources in the Courts and ensure greater access to justice.

The total assignment of three judges to the Planning and Environment Court is crucial to support increased capacity and flexibility.

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