Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Jim O’Callaghan has called on the Minister for Justice & Equality to scrap the government’s Judicial Appointments Bill in light of the comments made by the Attorney General, who described the Bill as a “complete dog’s dinner”.
Deputy O’Callaghan warned that if the Attorney General believes the Bill is unconstitutional, the government needs to set it aside and the process of drafting new legislation must begin again.
“The Attorney General is correct in describing the government’s Bill as a complete dog’s dinner. The reason it is a dog’s dinner is because the chef is Shane Ross. The government’s Bill is deeply flawed and will not achieve any genuine reform. In fact, its sole purpose is to appease one Cabinet Minister.
“The comments by the Attorney General should act as a wake-up call for the government, especially the remarks around the constitutionality of the legislation. Minister Flanagan needs to act on the concerns of the AG and scrap this legislation that has become a vanity project for one member of cabinet.
“It is not acceptable for a government to sit back and allow flawed legislation to be introduced in a bid to keep Minister Ross on board. The European Commission has already stated that the Bill does not conform to European standards, which specify that a substantial part of the members of the judicial appointments body should be judges.
“At no stage has the government ever explained the public policy reason for reducing judicial involvement in the proposed board and replacing this expertise with people who have no knowledge of which candidates are suitable, or characteristics required, for judicial appointment.
“The intervention by the Attorney General should mark the death knell for this deeply flawed Bill. The Justice Minister needs to intervene immediately and scrap this deeply flawed legislation”.