No judge is specifically assigned to hear family law cases in particular. In the Dublin Metropolitan District Court there are two family law courts permanently sitting. Occasionally, when accommodation is available, a third court also sits to hear family law cases. In the Dublin Circuit Court there are also two courts sitting permanently to deal with family law. In the High Court, one court sits four days a week specifically to deal with family law cases and applications. In the Provincial District Court areas family law is dealt with at almost every sitting. In addition special courts are held to deal solely with family law. In relation to the Provincial Circuit Courts, days are assigned by the county registrar to deal with family law.
I have set out statistics showing the number of family law cases heard in the District Court for the legal years 1996-97 and 1997-98. For the higher courts the tables show statistics for divorce and judicial separation applications received and granted for 1996-97 and 1997-98, and cases still on hands as of 31 July 1998.