An expert in constitutional law has said the Government can answer questions on the appointment of judges.

Assistant Professor of Law at Trinity College David Kenny said the appointment of judges is a government function and it is accountable to the legislature on the matter.

He said answering questions in the Dáil on Judicial appointments would not undermine the separation of powers or judicial independence.

Government sources are indicating that questions by the opposition for Minister for Justice Helen McEntee on the appointment of Seamus Woulfe to the Supreme Court would be inappropriate.

They point out that such a debate could prejudice other potential work the Oireachtas may have to undertake regarding the Supreme Court.

However, the matter is likely to be raised by the opposition when the Dáil meets tomorrow afternoon.

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Amid calls for Minister McEntee to make a Dáil statement, the Government spokesperson said the scheduling of the Dáil is a matter for the Business Committee.

That committee is not set to meet today.

The Irish Times reported on Friday that a number of senior judges expressed an interest to government in the Supreme Court vacancy that Mr Justice Woulfe filled.

However, the Cabinet was told of only Mr Woulfe's name when it made the appointment.

Government sources say Mr Justice Woulfe, who was Attorney General to the last government, was recommended by the Judicial Appointment Advisory Board (JAAB) which is chaired by Chief Justice Frank Clarke.

However, while the JAAB has a role in the appointment process of barristers and solicitors as judges, the appointment of serving judges to higher courts is a matter solely for the Government.

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly, meanwhile, today called on Ms McEntee to make a Dáil statement on the appointment of Mr Justice Woulfe.

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Mr Kelly claimed the lack of consultation on the process is embarrassing and has undermined Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Mr Kelly said it is "completely hypocritical" of the Government to refuse to answer questions on the issue and to brush it under the carpet after earlier sacking minister Barry Cowen for not answering questions in the Dáil.

He said it is "simply unprecedented" that the Minister for Justice appointed a Supreme Court judge without consulting the Taoiseach, and Minister Eamon Ryan, or the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

He said that not doing so is "undermining, embarrassing and showing him [the Taoiseach] to be irrelevant".