“Disappointing setback” for courts re-opening plans: Law Society comment on limiting court sittings to two hours per day

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The Law Society of Ireland has expressed concern in the public interest about the news that court sittings are to be limited to two hours per day. Director General of the Law Society of Ireland Ken Murphy described the development as “bizarre and very frustrating”.

While the limit will not apply to remote hearings, Mr Murphy explains that “such a limitation is a disappointing setback to the valiant efforts being made by the Courts Service to reopen the courts in the public interest.”

“It is bordering on bizarre that Ireland is being given this advice for the first time more than two months into the Covid-19 crisis, where the public health advice, up to now, has been admirably clear.”

“The question has to be asked if there has been some miscommunication and overreaction here,” Mr Murphy noted. “The Dáil has frequently sat for periods of well in excess of two hours during the crisis. Furthermore, businesses and workplaces providing essential services have been operating for periods well in excess of two hours for the duration of the restrictions.”

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