Murdoch's Term of the Week: Writ

An early creature of the common law brought about following the Norman conquest of England, writs were necessary before a litigant could bring an action before the two most prominent courts of the time, the Court of Common Pleas and the King's Bench. This week's TOTW provides illumination on their modern usage in Ireland.



(1) A document issued in the name of a court, or a duly appointed person, commanding the person to whom it is addressed to do or to forebear from doing some act eg a Summons (qv); or a direction to hold an election: Electoral Act 1992, fourth schedule.

(2) In the UK, a process issued in the High Court at the instance of the plaintiff for the purpose of giving the defendant notice of the claim made against him. The practice in England as regards “the dropping of the distinction” between service of a writ and notice of it, is of no relevance in Ireland: O’Connor v Commercial General and Marine Ltd [1996 HC] 2 ILRM 293; [1996 HC] 1 IR 68. See BYE-ELECTION; DISSOLUTION; SUMMONS, SERVICE OUT OF JURISDICTION.


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