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Irish Examiner - 02/06/05
Court reform to speed up planning
Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter

THE Government is considering a radical change to judicial review proceedings of large infrastructure projects to allow judges make a decision on costs before the case is heard.

Outlining the contents of the Government’s Strategic Infrastructure Bill yesterday Environment Minister Dick Roche said court reform would have to form an important part of moves to speed up the planning process for large infrastructure projects. He said changes were needed to reduce “quite remarkable delays” of up to 92 weeks as projects are delayed by “spurious” protest court cases.

However, he denied the move would deny access to the courts for those without means since a judge would be empowered to make an early decision on who should foot the costs of a case based on its merits.

“This is not about trying to stop genuine legal challenges. What we need is mechanisms to ensure that cases are heard and decided as soon as possible so that everybody knows whether the infrastructure project can proceed or not.”


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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