Judicial Appointments Bill a shambles – Sherlock

Seán Sherlock TD
24 March 2018

Labour Justice spokesperson Séan Sherlock has said that the comments of the Attorney General shows that the pet project of Minister Shane Ross is now a shambles and should be either scrapped or redrafted, and adds to the concerns raised recently by the European Commission.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The personal crusade by Minister Shane Ross to reform the appointment of judges is clearly now a shambles, when the legal advisor to the government Ross is a member of, describes it as a dogs dinner.

“If the bill is now in the dog house, it is incumbent on Minister Shane Ross to tell us how his pet project will be rescued.

“Due to a number of conflicting and contradictory amendments the bill now makes little sense. The Attorney General has described it as unconstitutional which raises questions as to whether it can continue or should be withdrawn and a new effort started.

“The Bill has passed committee stage, but we have been told that it won’t move to report stage until the Department of Justice has had time to consider the amendments made, and how to address them.

“The Minister for Justice must tell us the plan he has to address the concerns of the AG, and what proposals his Department is working on.

“Further, the European Commission has said the Bill as intended is not in line with European standards, and the Minister has not to date told us how he plans to address these concerns related to the number of judges on the appointment body selected by their peers.

“In light of recent controversies it is becoming more and more clear that the approach of Minister Shane Ross to this Bill is driven less by what is best for Ireland, but rather what is best for Minister Ross.”

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