Fitzgerald reaffirms commitment to judicial council

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the creation of a judicial council as “an important part of the architecture” of the judiciary.

Ms Fitzgerald was speaking in the Dáil after being questioned by Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan on the timescale for the legislation, which was considered a priority by previous Governments.

She admitted the legislation had given way to “other pressing and urgent legislative requirements”, including the establishment of the Court of Appeal and last year’s marriage equality referendum.

However, Ms Fitzgerald added: “I assure the Deputy that work on the Bill is very advanced and I look forward to its contents being debated by the Oireachtas. I hope it will be possible to begin that debate early in 2017 and that we will be in a position to publish the legislation before the end of the year.”

She told TDs: “The Government is firmly of the view that it is necessary to provide a platform for the promotion of excellence and high standards of conduct by judges.

“I believe we in Ireland have been particularly well served by the Judiciary down through the decades, and this has been recognised internationally. As the Deputy is aware, the Judiciary supports the establishment of the judicial council, which is also a priority for me.

“We are very close to completion of the draft and will hopefully be in a position to undertake further consultation and then publish the Bill.”

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