The Supreme Court

Support Team

Support Team

The Supreme Court is supported by the following offices and bodies in carrying out its functions:

Supreme Court Registrar

The position of Supreme Court Registrar is a statutory one. The Registrar has superintendence and control of the Office of the Supreme Court and is responsible to the Chief Justice for the business of the Court transacted in the Office. He is also subject to the general direction of the Courts Service for matters of general administration. The Registrar is Mr John Mahon.

Supreme Court Office

The Supreme Court Office provides administrative and registry support to the Supreme Court. It has a public office where documentation relating to appeals and applications for leave to appeal is filed. The Registrar is supported by an Assistant Registrar and seven additional members of staff.

The Rules of Court require that all applications, appeals, and other matters before the Supreme Court are prepared for hearing or determination in a manner which is just, expeditious, and likely to minimise the costs of the proceedings. In that regard, the Office and its staff are responsible for the following functions:

  • Reviewing filings and documentation for compliance with the rules and practice of the Court;
  • Managing the applications for leave to appeal and appeals to ensure that they are progressed fairly and efficiently;
  • Listing applications and appeals for hearing;
  • Issuing and publishing determinations and judgments of the Court;
  • Drafting and finalising orders of the Court;
  • Enrolling the text of the Constitution embodying amendments (in accordance with Article 25.5.2° of the Constitution) and enrolling Acts of the Oireachtas (in accordance with Article 25.4.5° of the Constitution);
  • Processing applications to be appointed as a notary public or commissioner for oaths;
  • Authenticating the signatures of notaries or commissioners on legal documents for use in Ireland or other jurisdictions;
  • Supporting protocol functions including the swearing in of new judges by the Chief Justice and calls to the Bar of Ireland.

Office of the Chief Justice

The Office of the Chief Justice is responsible for providing judicial support services to the Supreme Court. These support services include:

  • Provision of support to the Chief Justice with his constitutional, statutory and other leadership functions;
  • Provision by judicial assistants, secretaries and ushers of legal, administrative and court-going support to members of the Supreme Court;
  • Secretariat support for boards, meetings and working groups led by the Chief Justice;
  • Delivery of communication, outreach and education programmes for the Supreme Court;
  • Coordination of the international relations work of the Supreme Court;
  • Making protocol and organisational arrangements for events and ceremonies associated with the Supreme Court.

The Courts Service conducts regular open competitions for the recruitment of judicial assistants. Further information is available here.

Judicial Assistants and Ushers

Judges of the Supreme Court are supported by judicial assistants and a small number of ushers.

  • Judicial assistants provide legal research assistance, practical assistance, assist in the proofreading of judgments, and prepare judgment summaries prior to delivery.
  • Ushers provide court-going and practical assistance to members of the Supreme Court.

For more information on the work carried out by Judicial Assistants, please see 'A day in the life of a Supreme Court judicial assistant' in the Supreme Court Annual Report 2021 here. The Courts Service conducts regular open competitions for the recruitment of Judicial Assistants. Further information is available here.

Superior Court Operations

The Superior Courts Operations Directorate oversees the provision of administrative and operation support to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court. The Directorate is also responsible for the offices attached to these courts and the staff associated with each office, including the Supreme Court Office and the Office of the Chief Justice.

Courts Service

All of the staff that support the Supreme Court are employees of the Courts Service, which is the statutory independent agency responsible for the administration and management of all courts in Ireland. Established pursuant to the Courts Service Act 1998, the Courts Service manages all aspects of court activities except for judicial functions and the administration of justice, which are matters exclusively for the judiciary.