Judicial misconduct hearings to be held in public under Government plans
Hearings into alleged judicial misconduct will be heard in public under Government proposals to be considered in the Oireachtas.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has submitted amendments to the Judicial Council Bill 2017 to provide for misconduct hearings to be held in public unless a private hearing is necessary to “safeguard the administration of justice”, The Irish Times reports.
An earlier version of the bill provided for hearings to be held in private by default.
The Judicial Council Bill provides for a judicial conduct committee which would consider complaints against judges and refer them either for informal resolution or for formal investigation.
Ireland does not currently have a mechanism for investigating judicial misconduct short of launching impeachment proceedings.
The bill is currently awaiting committee stage in Seanad Éireann, but Mr Flanagan said last week that he envisaged that committee stage “will be taken before the end of the current session and the objective is to secure enactment of the Bill during the course of this year”.