Belfast Telegraph

Chief Justice warns failure to set up judicial council 'damaging Ireland'

The ongoing failure to establish a judicial council to oversee the conduct of Irish judges is damaging Ireland's reputation internationally, the Chief Justice has warned.

Susan Denham reiterated her concerns about the lack of progress on legislation to set up the body in a speech to herald the new legal term.

Ms Denham claimed the placement of the Judicial Council Bill under the heading of "all other legislation" in the Government's law-making programme represented a demotion of priority.

A council would set a code of conduct for judges, oversee training and education, and deal with complaints about individual judges.

It is almost two decades since its creation was proposed.

The Chief Justice said the lack of a council was causing an "institutional vacuum" that should be a matter of real concern for the Judiciary and Government.

"The failure to progress this institutional reform with the urgency it deserves weighs heavily, both on relations between the Judiciary and the Executive, and on the State's reputation internationally," she said.

The country's top judge added: "In face of the strong consensus in Ireland and internationally as to the need for the establishment of a judicial council, and legislation for a judicial conduct regime, it is therefore a matter of the most real concern to observe what would appear to be a distinct loss of momentum in delivering this historic institutional reform."


From Belfast Telegraph