Court of Common Pleas (Ireland)

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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 Law developed by judges

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 Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

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.

Court of Common Pleas (England) common law court in the English legal system

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.

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The Four Courts, present day Fourcourtsquays.JPG
The Four Courts, present day

History

According to Elrington Ball [1] the 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. [2]

Lord Chief Justice of Ireland

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.

Court of Kings Bench (Ireland)

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 language Gaelic language spoken in Ireland and by Irish people

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.

Court of Exchequer (Ireland) senior court of common law in Ireland

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 Town in Leinster, Ireland

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.

Abolition

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.

Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877 United Kingdom Law over Ireland

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.

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References

Sources

Citations

  1. Elrington Ball, The Judges in Ireland 12211921 John Murray, London 1926 Vol.1 p.17
  2. Ball, The Judges in Ireland Vol. 2 pp.79,107