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The High Court: A Userís Guide

'In 1995 as a result of a push from Victim Support and a substantial shove from the Bar Council an information desk was opened by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform just off the rotunda in the Four Courts. It was belated recognition of the geographical complexity of our Courts, a userís reference point if you like (which includes the odd practitioner), for the surrounding terrain. A modest initiative that has, I believe, been of some help to the disorganised litigant.

The High Court, A Userís Guide is a much more ambitious project. A guide to the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Himalayan heights of the High Court in one slim volume is a daring, or as some might see it perhaps, a foolhardy adventure.

None the less I believe that the book is an invaluable aid to the litigious minded lay person, not least because it will warn him or her of the complexities and dangerous salients on the climb. It is useful also for the practitioner, bearing in mind that in order to survive the climb, a copy of the Rules of the Superior Courts must be included in the survival kit. Indeed this condition is explicit in the text, as all directions and advices are carefully underpinned by the relevant Order and Rule and current case law where appropriate. For the student it is required reading as he or she begins exploring the foothills.

The first seven chapters deal with such mundane matters as Summonses, Court Lists and Services. While these may be considered basic matters for many practitioners, getting the basics right is an essential requirement in Rules and Procedure in the High Court. In this regard the book is very informative, detailed, practical and helpful.

The remaining seven chapters are concerned with the more technical areas; including Judicial Review, Judgement Mortgages, Bankruptcy and Appeals to the Supreme Court. Here the author skilfully outlines the contours and allows for further reconnaissance.

The authorís journalistic skills are evident throughout the book. It is written in the easy effortless style of the good craftsman, the text at all times carefully woven to give a clear view of the subject matter to the reader.

I highly recommend this very readable book for anybody involved in High Court litigation' Donal Egan, Victim Support.

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