Background to the Tribunal

Report of Mr Justice Charles Meenan on an alternative system for dealing with claims arising out of CervicalCheck

On the 2nd of August 2018 the Government asked Mr. Justice Charles Meenan to make recommendations on how claims arising out of CervicalCheck could be resolved outside the court process in a manner which is both timely and sensitive and appropriate to cases involving complex liability issues.

The terms of reference included engaging with the affected women, their families and their representatives to seek their opinion on what could be done to provide an alternative to the court process and to assess the management of cases, liability and quantum that arise, in conjunction with the State Claims Agency and other relevant bodies. The report was also to have regard to Dr. Gabriel Scally’s Scoping Inquiry into CervicalCheck and the Expert Panel Review of Cervical Screening led by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

Mr Justice Meenan’s report, which was published on the 16th of October 2018, proposed that a tribunal be established under statute for the purpose of hearing and determining claims arising from CervicalCheck. The report also proposed that the hearings arising from proceedings initiated in the Tribunal be conducted in private, be less formal than in the court process and be entered into by the relevant parties on a voluntary basis.

The report also proposed that meetings between women and/or their families and medical professionals be facilitated. More information to in relation to Restoration of Trust Meetings can be accessed here.

Judge Meenan report on an alternative system for dealing with claims arising from CervicalCheck

 

The CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019

Based on the recommendations set out by Mr. Justice Meenan in his report, in December 2018 the Government agreed to set up a statutory Tribunal to deal with the claims arising from CervicalCheck and approved the appointment of Ms. Justice Mary Irvine as Chair of the Tribunal.

The legislation necessary to establish the CervicalCheck Tribunal, the CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019, passed through the Oireachtas and was signed into law by the President on the 23rd of July 2019. The legislation sets out the functions of the Tribunal, which include hearing and determining claims in respect of CervicalCheck outside of the court process.