The Cabinet has agreed a process to nominate a new President of the Circuit Court and a new President of the District Court as legislation to reform judicial appointments remains stuck in the Seanad. 

A spokesperson for the Government said the process agreed at Cabinet mirrors that adopted for the appointment of the Chief Justice in 2017 and the President of the Court of Appeal in 2018.

The spokesperson also said the process is modeled on that proposed for appointments of Presidents of the Superior Courts as outlined in the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill. 

The controversial bill - which proposes to have a Judicial Appointments Commission with a lay majority and lay chair - has been debated in the Seanad for over 100 hours.

The seven year non-renewable term of the current presidents of both the Circuit Court and the District Court, Justice Raymond Groarke and Judge Rosemary Horgan, will end in July this year. 

In order to fill the two vacancies in the absence of the new legislation, the Minister for Justice is proposing to have one or two non-statutory Advisory Committees which would include a senior member of the judiciary, the Attorney General, and a lay member which would make recommendations on preferred candidates. 

Both judges will continue to serve as judges of the Circuit Court and District Court respectively following the expiry of their term. 

The spokesperson said that they anticipated the Judicial Appointments Bill would be enacted in the coming months.