Chief Justice reiterates call for Irish judicial council

The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham
The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham

The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham, has called for an Irish judical council in a speech to mark the start of the new legal year.

Ms Justice Denham expressed concern about the Government’s commitment to the Judicial Council Bill, describing a “distinct loss of momentum”.

She also described a judicial council as “a necessary element of the infrastructure of a modern democratic State”.

It would provide a mechanism for investigating and handling judicial conduct complaints and also allow for the establishment of an Irish sentencing committee.

The State will this week give an update to the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption Group (Greco), which has led international calls for Ireland to introduce a judicial council.

Shortly after Ms Justice Denham’s speech, a spokesperson for Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the bill would still go ahead.

The spokesperson told RTÉ News: “The bill - the complexities of which should not be underestimated - is at an advanced stage of drafting intensive work has been done on it over the summer months and the bill has progressed very substantially.

“It is a very substantial undertaking comprising at least 75 sections.”

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