The Courts Service
The Courts Service is an independent corporate organisation set up in November 1999 by the Courts Service Act, 1998. It was set up to:
- manage the courts;
- provide support services for the judges;
- provide information on the courts system to the public;
- provide, manage and maintain court buildings; and
- provide facilities for people who use the courts.
The Courts Service is governed by a Board including a chairperson (the Chief Justice or another judge of the Supreme Court chosen by him or her) and sixteen members. The Board decides on policies and the Chief Executive Officer oversees how they are to be put into practice.
The Courts Service is funded by the State and is accountable to the Minister for Justice and Equality and, through the Minister, to the Government and to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee for money spent and value-for-money provisions.
The functions of the Courts Service do not include the administration of justice nor is the Service accountable for judicial decisions. Judges are totally independent when carrying out their judicial functions. They are employed directly by the State and not by the Courts Service. They act as members of the Courts Service Board or Committees of the Board in an administrative capacity.
Judicial Support Unit
Within The Courts Service the function of the Judicial Support Unit is to provide support services to the judiciary. It provides a one stop shop for issues of concern to all judges.
The Judicial Support Unit also provides administrative support for the Committee for Judicial Studies.
It has responsibility for the validation of Circuit and District Court judges’ travel and subsistence claims since 12th April 2010. It further has responsibility for making arrangements for Foreign Travel for members of the Judiciary, for recoupment of costs for Judicial Attire, and for making arrangements in relation to accommodation & payment of imprests to Supreme & High Court judges on Circuit.
The Unit also assists with the Protocol arrangements for the Judiciary and for visiting dignitaries and delegations.
The Courts Service Website
More detailed information concerning the organisation and remit of The Courts Service, including the many specific supports it provides for the judiciary, is to be found on their website: www.courts.ie