Senators defeat Government attempt to hurry judicial appointments bill through Seanad
Senators yesterday defeated a Government attempt to hurry its controversial Judicial Appointments Commission Bill through the Seanad.
Senator Jerry Buttimer, leader of the Seanad, said the Government had brought forward a three-hour debate on the bill to yesterday in a bid to get it through the committee stage faster.
An amendment by Independent Senator Michael McDowell, proposing that the debate “not be taken today and that a debate on the future of Europe be taken in its stead”, was passed by 25 votes to 15.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan had told the Seanad last June that he hoped it would be completed “towards the end of July”.
However, the bill, which has been criticised by leading members of the Irish judiciary and the Association of Judges of Ireland (AJI), has been strongly opposed by Senators.
Senator Buttimer told Senators yesterday: “We have spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with the committee stage of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill.
“I understand there are very sincere views held by some members and that other members are engaged in a game of filibustering … the behaviour of some members has been less than helpful in doing our job as parliamentarians.”