- Courts of Justice Act 1924
The Courts of Justice Act, 1924 was an Act of the Oireachtas that established the courts system of the Irish Free State pursuant to the Constitution of the Irish Free State. Amongst these courts was the Supreme Court of the Irish Free State, and the first Chief Justice of the Irish Free State was appointed on foot of the act.
The long title of the act:
- AN ACT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COURTS OF JUSTICE PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF SAORSTAT EIREANN AND FOR PURPOSES RELATING TO THE BETTER ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
At the same time, the Dail Courts system authorised in 1919-20 was wound up in two acts of 1923 and 1925.
A new constitution, the Constitution of Ireland was enacted in 1937; however it was not until 1961 that the new courts system called for in the 1937 constitution was established.
Changes under the act
All of the courts sitting in the Irish Free State at the time were abolished by the Act and new courts took their place:
- The Court of Appeal was replaced by the Supreme Court of Justice and a Court of Criminal Appeal. There remained for the time being an avenue of appeal from the Supreme Court to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
- The High Court of Justice was replaced by a new court with the same name and similar jurisdiction. However, the new court was no longer divided into divisions (Queens Bench, Chancery etc.) as had previously been the case. The President of the High Court replaced the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland as chief judge of this court.
- Sittings of the High Court on Circuit replaced the Assizes.
- The jurisdiction of Quarter Sessions and the County Court was merged into a single Circuit Court of Justice.
- The jurisdiction of the temporary District Justices and the divisional magistrates of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Court was merged into a single District Court of Justice, which could also try minor civil matters. The temporary District Justices had been introduced in 1923 to replace Petty Sessions, which had not been held in most of what became the Irish Free State due to the War of Independence.
The offices of justice of the peace and resident magistrate were permanently abolished. There would no longer be any lay magistrates in the Irish Free State and all judges would be legally trained and full-time. The lay office of peace commissioner was created to exercise some of the functions of magistrates, but they could no longer sit in the District Court.
All criminal prosecutions would now take place in the name of the People at the suit of the Attorney General, rather than The King as had previously been the case.
The Courts system established by the 1924 act has remained largely unchanged save for the addition of the Special Criminal Court. When the Courts Act 1961 established the new courts envisaged by the Constitution of Ireland, it merely re-established all the existing courts (removing the "of Justice" from their names to disambiguate) with the same jurisdictions as before.
Irish Free State Saorstát Éireann
Anglo-Irish Treaty · Provisional Government · Constitution of the Irish Free State · Statute of Westminster · Great Seal of the Irish Free State · Monarchy in the Irish Free State
Executive Legislative Judiciary General elections See also This legislation article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.