Chief Justice Frank Clarke has stated that Ireland’s spending on justice is significantly lower when compared to other countries that use a similar legal system.
Speaking at the opening of a conference on access to justice, Mr. Clarke said that while there were many demands on resources at present, the Irish taxpayer spends significantly less on the justice system than other countries.
He said that there was a strong case that the savings made could be spent assisting people who struggle to afford legal representation.
Clarke welcomed what he described as the government’s commitment to changes in the courts which includes a modernisation programme and provision for a review of civil legal aid.
Hosted by a working group that was set up in January, the two-day conference ‘Access to Justice – Breaking Down Barriers’ will contribute to improving access to justice in Ireland.
Clarke stated that a prominent theme of the conference will be to ask how it can ensure that people have information to identify and address their legal problems in the first place.
It will also look at how the court system might be made accessible to all and will also examine how it can optimise alternative ways of resolving legal issues.
Chairperson of the Legal Aid Board Philip O’Leary said access to justice is central to a free and democratic society.
IMAGE – “Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin.” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by infomatique