Tuesday, 9 November 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
291. Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on whether it is appropriate to include in the membership of the new group set up to look at legal costs, either a solicitor in private practice, or a nominee of the Law Society. [27804/04]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): As the Deputy will be aware, I have established a working group to examine the present level of legal fees and costs arising in civil litigation and the system and arrangements in place relating to the taxation of costs. The best way of guaranteeing an independent, fair and balanced consideration of the complex issues the group has been asked to examine is for legal professional bodies to work closely with, but separately from, the group.
I fully accept that legal professionals are key players in any examination of legal costs and acknowledge their unique insight into the current system. I have no doubt that the process, which I have initiated, will fully and completely take into account the views and experience of legal professionals. To this end, the legal costs working group has invited submissions from interested parties. The invitation was advertised nationally and is currently displayed on the Department’s website, www.justice.ie.
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