Judicial appointments bill may not be published until next year

Independent TD and Government minister Shane Ross
Independent TD and Government minister Shane Ross

Legislation to establish a new judicial appointments process in Ireland has been delayed due to opposition within the Government, the judiciary and the legal profession, The Irish Times reports.

The Department of Justice has refused to say when the heads of the bill will be published, rowing back on an earlier promise that they would be published this month.

Some sources indicate they will be published early next year.

The Independent Alliance has pledged to use its role in Government to block appointments until legislation is passed to introduce a judicial appointments commission with a lay majority.

Leading judges have said a halt on appointments is “disastrous” and The Bar of Ireland has warned delaying them may “not respect the constitutional right of access to the Courts and the obligation to ensure that justice is administered speedily and efficiently”.

However, Independent TD and Government minister Shane Ross has said he believes this is the “only way to force reform”.

A spokesperson for the Alliance said it looked on the legislation “as a matter of urgency” and they “see no reason for any delay”.

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