|The Four Courts|
The Four Courts along the River Liffey quayside
|Town or city||Inns Quay, Dublin|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|Client||Kingdom of Ireland|
|Material||Portland stone, granite, copper, cast iron, timber, steel, stucco, sandstone|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Thomas Cooley, James Gandon|
The Four Courts (Irish : Na Ceithre Cúirteanna ) is Ireland's main courts building, located on Inns Quay in Dublin. The Four Courts is the location of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Dublin Circuit Court. Until 2010 the building also housed the Central Criminal Court; this is now located in the Criminal Courts of Justice.
The building originally housed the four courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Exchequer and Common Pleas, giving the name to the building.
Under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877, these four courts were replaced by the Court of Appeal, presided by the Lord Chancellor, and the High Court of Justice, presided by Lord Chief Justice, but the building has retained its historic name.
Under the Courts of Justice Act 1924, courts were established for the new Irish Free State with the Supreme Court of Justice, presided by the Chief Justice, replacing the Court of Appeal and a reconstituted High Court of Justice, presided by the President of the High Court, continuing the jurisdiction of the old High Court. The Constitution of Ireland in 1937 provided that courts would be established in a manner provided by the Constitution; this did not in fact occur until the implementation of the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Act 1961. The Supreme Court and High Court (now dropping "of Justice" from their title) established under this act continued the jurisdiction of the courts established under the 1924 Act.
A new Court of Appeal was established in 2014, following a referendum in 2013, taking over the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the old Court of Criminal Appeal. Its civil division sits in the Four Courts.
Work based on the design of Thomas Cooley for the Public Records Office of Ireland, began in 1776. After his death in 1784 renowned architect James Gandon was appointed to finish the building, which we recognise today as the Four Courts. It was built between 1786 and 1796, while the finishing touches to the arcades and wings were completed in 1802.The lands were previously used by the King's Inns.
The Four Courts and surrounding areas were held by Commandant Edward Daly's 1st Battalion during the Easter Rising in 1916. Some of the most intense fighting of Easter Week took place in the Church Street/North King Street/North Brunswick Street area. At the end of the week the Four Courts building itself became the headquarters of the 1st Battalion.
On 14 April 1922 the courts complex was occupied by IRA forces opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, led by Rory O'Connor. On 27 June the new National Army attacked the building to dislodge the rebels, on the orders of the Minister for Defence Richard Mulcahy, authorised by President of Dáil Éireann Arthur Griffith.This provoked a week of fighting in Dublin. In the process of the bombardment the historic building was destroyed. The west wing of the building was obliterated in a huge explosion, destroying the Irish Public Record Office at the rear of the building. Nearly a thousand years of archives were destroyed by this.
O'Connor's forces were accused of mining the records office; however, those present, who included future Taoiseach Seán Lemass, said that, while they had used the archive as a store of their ammunition, they had not deliberately mined it. They suggest that the explosion was caused by the accidental detonation of their ammunition store during the fighting.
For a decade after the destruction of the Civil War, the courts sat in the old viceregal apartments in Dublin Castle. In 1932, a rebuilt and remodelled Four Courts was opened. However, much of the decorative interior of the original building had been lost and, in the absence of documentary archives (some of which had been in the Public Records Office and others of which were among the vast amount of legal records lost also), and also because the new state did not have the funds, the highly decorative interior was not replaced.
Prior to 2010 both civil and criminal trials were heard in the Four Courts, which was also the location of the Court of Criminal Appeal. When the Criminal Courts of Justice near the Phoenix Park opened in January 2010 all criminal trials were transferred there.The Four Courts remain in use for civil matters.
There are plans to relocate the Supreme Court to a new purpose-built building near the Four Courts, to open in 2020.
The Courts of England and Wales, supported administratively by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales.
The Queen's Bench is the superior court in a number of jurisdictions within some of the Commonwealth realms. The original King's Bench, founded in 1215 in England, was one of the ancient courts of the land and is now a division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
The Supreme Court of Ireland is the highest judicial authority in Ireland. It is a court of final appeal and exercises, in conjunction with the Court of Appeal and the High Court, judicial review over Acts of the Oireachtas. The Supreme Court also has jurisdiction to ensure compliance with the Constitution of Ireland by governmental bodies and private citizens. It sits in the Four Courts in Dublin.
The Courts of Ireland consist of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Circuit Court, the District Court and the Special Criminal Court. With the exception of the Special Criminal Court, all courts exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction, although when the High Court is exercising its criminal jurisdiction it is known as the Central Criminal Court.
The court system of Canada forms the judicial branch of government, formally known as "The Queen on the Bench", which interprets the law and is made up of many courts differing in levels of legal superiority and separated by jurisdiction. Some of the courts are federal in nature, while others are provincial or territorial.
The legal system of Singapore is based on the English common law system. Major areas of law – particularly administrative law, contract law, equity and trust law, property law and tort law – are largely judge-made, though certain aspects have now been modified to some extent by statutes. However, other areas of law, such as criminal law, company law and family law, are almost completely statutory in nature.
The High Court of Ireland is a court which deals at first instance with the most serious and important civil and criminal cases. When sitting as a criminal court it is called the Central Criminal Court and sits with judge and jury. It also acts as a court of appeal for civil cases in the Circuit Court. It also has the power to determine whether or not a law is constitutional, and of judicial review over acts of the government and other public bodies.
The courts of Northern Ireland are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in Northern Ireland: they are constituted and governed by Northern Ireland law.
The Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore is the nation's highest court and its court of final appeal. It is the upper division of the Supreme Court of Singapore, the lower being the High Court. The Court of Appeal consists of the Chief Justice of Singapore, who is the President of the Court, and the Judges of Appeal. The Chief Justice may ask judges of the High Court to sit as members of the Court of Appeal to hear particular cases. The seat of the Court of Appeal is the Supreme Court Building.
The Courts of Justice Act 1924 was an Act of the Oireachtas that established a new system of courts for the Irish Free State. Among the new courts was the Supreme Court of the Irish Free State, and the first Chief Justice of the Irish Free State was also appointed under the Act.
The supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and highcourt of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court. Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts.
The Court of Criminal Appeal was an appellate court for criminal cases in the law of the Republic of Ireland, which existed until 2014, when it was superseded by the Court of Appeal, which can hear appeals for all types of case.
The High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man is governed by the High Court Act 1991. There are four permanent judges of the High Court:
The Court of Chancery was a court which exercised equitable jurisdiction in Ireland until its abolition as part of the reform of the court system in 1877. It was the court in which the Lord Chancellor of Ireland presided. Its final sitting place was at the Four Courts in Dublin.
The Federal Court of Malaysia is the highest court and the final appellate court in Malaysia. It is housed in the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya. The court was established during Malaya's independence in 1957 and received its current name in 1994.
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".
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 Judiciary of Kenya is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in Kenya. After the promulgation of the constitution of Kenya 2010 the general public through parliament sought to reform the judiciary. Parliament passed the Magistrates and Judges vetting act of 2011. A major part of reforming the judiciary was the vetting of Magistrates and Judges in an attempt to weed out unsuitable ones. The Judicature Act has also been amended to raise the minimum number of magistrate and Judges allowing more judicial officers to be hired. More magistrates and judges are needed to clear the backlog of cases that have caused great delay in the conclusion of cases and to staff new courts. New courts are needed to bring the courts closer to the people which is in line with devolution a major principle written into the Constitution of 2010. New courts like the High Court opened in Garissa in November 2014 is a good example. In the past residents of North Eastern Kenya had to go all the way to Embu to access a High Court.
The Judiciary of Sri Lanka are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in Sri Lanka. The Constitution of Sri Lanka defines courts as independent institutions within the traditional framework of checks and balances. They apply Sri Lankan Law which is an amalgam of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law and Customary Law; and are established under the Judicature Act No 02 of 1978 of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.
The judiciary of New Zealand is a system of courts that interprets and applies the laws of New Zealand, to ensure equal justice under law, and to provide a mechanism for dispute resolution. The judiciary has four levels: the six-member Supreme Court is the highest court; the ten-member Court of Appeal hears appeals from the High Court on points of law; the High Court deals with serious criminal offences and civil matters, and hears appeals from the lower courts; and the District Court, which meets in fifty-eight locations. There is also a separate Māori Land Court and Māori Appellate Court which have jurisdiction over Māori land cases under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.
Original historic use of the plural form: use of the singular form is a relatively new habit. Even at the beginning of the twentieth century speakers had the choice of using the plural form also, and many survivals of that usage are seen at the present time, particularly in proper names: na Ceithre Cuirteanna, for example, is said, even though na Ceithre Chúirt would be more correct according to current language rules.
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|Preceding station||Luas||Following station|
| Jervis |
towards Connolly or The Point
|Red Line|| Smithfield |