This chapter sets out the aims of the book, which are to evaluate the performance of the Irish Supreme Court through its 94 years of history to date and to assess what contribution it has made to Irish legal culture. It considers the difficulties in undertaking that task and surveys some of the evaluative literature which already exists on supreme courts in other common law countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. It posits that the most important assessment criteria are clarity, fairness, efficiency and respect. The chapter then refers to existing literature on the Irish Supreme Court and explains what will be covered in subsequent chapters of the book.
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