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The Hierarchy of the Irish Court System

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    elow is a diagram of the hierarchy of the Irish court system. Civil Courts Civil courts deals with civil or private wrongs. In a Civil case the burden required is on the balance of probabilities. In most civil cases there will be a plaintiff and a defendant, the plaintiff sues the defendant. In civil proceedings the judgment would be to impose a settlement on the matter. eg, awarding damages, an injunction or an order for specific performance. Land law, employment law, contractual law, consumer law and family law are all examples of civil law matter.

    The guards are not involved in civil law matters. Civil Court Examples A district court civil case would be where a tenant has not paid rent to their landlord. A circuit court case would be a judge deciding if an application for a new liquor license should be granted or refused. The high court can order a company to be wound up and deals with issues like examinership and bankruptcy. The supreme court deals with appeals from the high court. Criminal Court Criminal court deals with criminal or public wrongs, ie A crime has been committed.

    In a criminal case the burden required is beyond all reasonable doubt, So the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, In criminal law cases the guardi will be involved. The objective of criminal law is punishment, eg. Jail, Community Service or Fines. Criminal proceedings are started by the state against the offender through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Sexual offences, genocide, murder and piracy are all examples of criminal law matter.

    Criminal Courts Examples A criminal case in a District court would be a minor offence such as traffic offences or minor drug offences. A criminal case in a circuit court would be Assault. A case in the central criminal court (known as the high court when dealing with civil cases) would be murder/manslaughter. The special criminal court was established to deal with terrorism and offences against the state. The supreme court is the court of final appeal for both civil and criminal cases.

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