Especially before the introduction of the PIAB, the vast majority of Civil Litigation in Personal Injury claims in Ireoland were handled in the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court consists of the President and thirty three ordinary judges. The President of the District Court is, by virtue of their office, an additional judge of the Circuit Court. The country is divided into eight circuits with one judge assigned to each circuit except in Dublin where ten judges may be assigned, and Cork, where there is provision for three judges. There are twenty-six Circuit Court offices throughout Ireland with a County Registrar in charge of the work of each office.
The Circuit Court is a court of limited and local jurisdiction. The work can be divided into four main areas: civil, criminal, family law and jury service. The Circuit Court sits in venues in each circuit. Sittings vary in length from one day to three weeks and are generally held every 2 to 4 months in each venue in the circuit. Dublin and Cork have continual sittings throughout each legal term.
The civil jurisdiction of the Circuit Court is a limited one unless all parties to an action consent, in which event the jurisdiction is unlimited. The limit of the Court's jurisdiction relates mainly to actions where the claim does not exceed €38,092. In practice parties are reluctant to agree to unlimited jurisdiction as this can appear to be an acceptance that the case has a value above the €38k. Any dispute on costs after a case are referred to the County Registrar.