O’Callaghan publishes landmark legislation to enhance judicial independence

Published on: 29 September 2016

judicial-appointments-commission-2016-v-10Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson for Justice, Jim O’Callaghan has this morning published a bill to provide for the establishment of an independent Judicial Appointments Commission that would recommend persons for appointment to judicial office based solely on merit.
Speaking at the launch of the bill at Leinster House, Deputy O’Callaghan said, “We are fortunate in Ireland to have a staunchly independent judiciary. However, this is despite of rather than because of our system for appointing judges

“Fianna Fáil’s legislation provides that an independent commission can recommend and rank, based on merit, a small group of suitably qualified persons to Government for nomination. This merit based system of appointment will enhance the principle of judicial independence.

“Publishing this bill removes any possibility of this Government foot dragging for any longer on establishing a Judicial Appointments Commission that will be required to make recommendations to the Minister for Justice based on merit.

“The needs of the courts must also be addressed and, as we are aware, there are currently a number of judicial vacancies that need to be filled in order for victims’ cases to be heard and justice to be achieved.

“It is crucial that the Government proceeds promptly to make nominations to fill vacancies in the Judiciary rather than waiting months for a draft bill on changing the method of nomination, to be published” added Deputy O’Callaghan.

“The timescale and delay of the government to date on providing a bill of this kind has prompted Fianna Fáil to put forward our Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2016.”

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