The Court of Common Pleas was one of the principal courts of common law in Ireland. It was a mirror image of the equivalent court in England. Common Pleas was one of the four courts of justice that gave the Four Courts in Dublin its name.
Common law is the body of law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals. The defining characteristic of "common law" is that it arises as precedent. In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts, and synthesizes the principles of those past cases as applicable to the current facts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is usually bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision. If, however, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases, and legislative statutes are either silent or ambiguous on the question, judges have the authority and duty to resolve the issue. The court states an opinion that gives reasons for the decision, and those reasons agglomerate with past decisions as precedent to bind future judges and litigants. Common law, as the body of law made by judges, stands in contrast to and on equal footing with statutes which are adopted through the legislative process, and regulations which are promulgated by the executive branch. Stare decisis, the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so that similar facts will yield similar results, lies at the heart of all common law systems.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
The Court of Common Pleas, or Common Bench, was a common law court in the English legal system that covered "common pleas"; actions between subject and subject, which did not concern the king. Created in the late 12th to early 13th century after splitting from the Exchequer of Pleas, the Common Pleas served as one of the central English courts for around 600 years. Authorised by Magna Carta to sit in a fixed location, the Common Pleas sat in Westminster Hall for its entire existence, joined by the Exchequer of Pleas and Court of King's Bench.
According to Elrington Ballthe Irish Court of Common Pleas, which was known in its early years as the Common Bench or simply the Bench, was fully operational by 1276. It was headed by its Chief Justice (the Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas, as distinct from the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, who was the head of the Irish Court of King's Bench). He had two (occasionally three) justices to assist him. Traditionally its workload was less heavy than that of the Court of King's Bench, and its judges had the reputation, which was probably unjustified, for being less learned than those of the other courts of common law. They were also more likely than their colleagues to be Irish-born, and to be fluent in Irish.
The Court of King's Bench was one of the senior courts of common law in Ireland. It was a mirror of the Court of King's Bench in England. The Lord Chief Justice was the most senior judge in the court, and the second most senior Irish judge under English rule and later when Ireland became part of the United Kingdom. Additionally, for a brief period between 1922 and 1924, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland was the most senior judge in the Irish Free State.
The Court of King's Bench was one of the senior courts of common law in Ireland. It was a mirror of the Court of King's Bench in England. The King's Bench was one of the "Four Courts" which sat in the building in Dublin still known as "The Four Courts".
Irish is a Goidelic language of the Celtic languages family, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family. Irish originated in Ireland and was historically spoken by Irish people throughout Ireland. Irish is spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations, and as a second language by a larger group of habitual but non-traditional speakers across the country.
Along with the Irish Court of Exchequer, it moved for a time to Carlow in the fourteenth century, due to the disturbed political conditions in Dublin; but the judges, finding that Carlow was also suffering from political unrest, returned within a few years to Dublin.
The Court of Exchequer (Ireland) was one of the senior courts of common law in Ireland. It was the mirror image of the equivalent court in England. The Court of Exchequer was one of the four royal courts of justice which gave their name to the building which is still called the Four Courts in Dublin.
Carlow is the county town of County Carlow, in the south-east of Ireland, 84 km (52 mi) from Dublin. At the 2016 census, it had a combined urban and rural population of 24,272.
Under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877, the Court of Common Pleas was merged into the new High Court of Justice in Ireland as one of its constituent divisions; the Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas retained his old rank. After the first decade of its existence it was decided that the High Court could be made to work more efficiently by merging the Common Pleas and Queen's Bench Divisions, and the term Common Pleas fell into disuse.
The Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that brought about a major reorganisation of the superior courts in Ireland. It created a Supreme Court of Judicature, comprising the High Court of Justice in Ireland and the Court of Appeal in Ireland. It mirrored in Ireland the changes which the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 had made in the courts of England and Wales.
The High Court of Justice in Ireland was the court created by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877 to replace the existing court structure in Ireland. It mirrored the reform of the courts of England and Wales five years earlier under the Judicature Acts. The Act created a Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of a High Court of Justice and a Court of Appeal.
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is the Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales and the President of the Courts of England and Wales.
Hugh Holmes QC was an Irish Conservative Party, then after 1886 a Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom Parliament and subsequently a Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal in Ireland.
The County Palatine of Tipperary Act 1715 is an Act of the Parliament of Ireland. This Act enabled the purchase by the crown of the Palatine Rights in the County Tipperary given to the Earls of Ormond, later Dukes of Ormonde, over the preceding centuries. Prior to the Act, the dukes appointed the sheriffs and judges of the county and owned certain revenues from the county which would otherwise have gone to the Crown.
Sir James Donnellan was an Irish lawyer and politician, who became Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas in 1660.He was unusual among the Irish judges of the time in being of Gaelic descent; and more remarkable in that his service as a judge under Oliver Cromwell did not disqualify him from service after the Restoration of Charles II.
The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas for Ireland was the presiding judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, which was known in its early years as the Court of Common Bench, or simply as "the Bench". It was one of the senior courts of common law in Ireland, and was a mirror of the Court of Common Pleas in England. The Court of Common Pleas was one of the "four courts" which sat in the building in Dublin which is still known as the Four Courts.
Sir Robert Bagod was an Irish judge who was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas. He built Baggotrath Castle, which was reputed to be the strongest fortress in Dublin: it was located on present day Baggot Street in central Dublin.
Robert de Scardeburgh was an English judge who also held high judicial office in Ireland.
William Tynbegh, or de Thinbegh was an Irish lawyer who had a long and distinguished career as a judge, holding office as head of all three of the courts of common law and as Lord High Treasurer of Ireland. His career is unusual, by modern standards, in that he left the Bench to become Attorney General for Ireland, but later returned to the Bench.
John Keppock was an Irish judge of the late fourteenth century, who held the offices of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer.
Henry Mitchell (c.1320-1384) was an Irish judge of the fourteenth century. He is one of the first recorded holders of the office of Attorney General for Ireland and was subsequently Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer and Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.
Richard Talbot (c.1520–1577) was a sixteenth-century Irish judge and landowner. He is notable as the ancestor of the prominent Talbot family of Mount Talbot, and for his clash with Nicholas Nugent, the future Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.
Sir George Shurley (1569–1647) was an English-born judge who held the office of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. Uniquely among the holders of that office, he ranked as junior in status to Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas in precedence.
John Bermyngham or Bermingham was an Irish lawyer and judge. He was one of the first Crown officials to be referred to as King's Serjeant. He. was later appointed Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, but did not take up the office.
John Tirel, or Tyrell was a prominent judge and statesman in fourteenth-century Ireland who held office as Serjeant-at-law and Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.
The Chief Justice of Connacht was the senior judge who assisted the Lord President of Connaught in judicial matters. Despite the Chief Justice's title, full judicial powers were vested in the Lord President himself when the office was established in 1569. Ralph Rokeby, the first Chief Justice, found his principal duty, the introduction of the common law into Connacht, to be a thankless task, writing gloomily to the Government in London that the people of the province "are not willing to embrace justice".
Adam Cusack (c.1630–1681) was an Irish landowner, barrister and judge of the seventeenth century.
Thomas de Dent was an English born cleric and judge who held high office in Ireland.