Consultation on the creation of County Court Civil Hearing Centres in NI

Dear Colleague

The Office of the Lord Chief Justice (OLCJ) has issued a Consultation Paper on behalf of the Presiding County Court Judge and assigned civil county court judge setting out proposals for the creation of County Court Civil Hearing Centres in Northern Ireland. The consultation is open for 6 weeks, the closing date for receipt of responses being 5pm on Friday 10th May 2019. As these proposals will affect County Court civil business across the jurisdiction, I would be grateful if you would cascade this email to members of your Local Association and seek their views as soon as possible.

The OLCJ invites practitioners to comment on the proposals outlined in this Paper. The consultation includes a number of questions on which views are particularly welcomed. Any other comments which practitioners might have on the content of the consultation are also welcomed.

The Society intends to respond to the consultation and views are welcomed from Local Associations and practitioners to help inform that response. Anyone wishing to do so should email their comments to on or before Friday 3rd May 2019.

Practitioners can also respond individually by using an online survey via Alternatively, the Consultation Response Template at Annex A can be completed and sent by email to or by post for the attention of The Judicial Consultation Co-ordinator, Office of the Lord Chief Justice, Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast. Anyone doing so should clearly indicate whether they are responding as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.