Reform of judicial appointments achievable

Thursday 06 February 2014 11.04
Ken Murphy said a key recommendation was that three names be given to Cabinet
Ken Murphy said a key recommendation was that three names be given to Cabinet

The Director General of the Law Society has said radical reform of the way judges are appointed could be easily achieved, possibly without legislation.

Currently a list of potential names is supplied to Government and the Cabinet chooses from that list.

The society said this leaves the system open to accusations that political allegiance has played a part in an appointment.

Ken Murphy said the society's key recommendation is that just three names are sent to Cabinet to consider.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said even judges who have been appointed during the current process would acknowledge that it is far too political.

He said there is no question that the existing judiciary is excellent, but said the system that produces them is flawed.

Last week, a committee chaired by Chief Justice Susan Denham called for the way judges are appointed to be changed.

She said it was clear that the success of the administration of justice in Ireland had been achieved in spite of, rather than because of, the appointments system.

The Judicial Appointments Review Committee made its submission to the Department of Justice on the system of judicial appointment, which it said was demonstrably deficient.

Keywords: judge, law society