Kenny and Shatter welcome judges’ submissions on appointments

Appointments to bench must be made on merit, says Kenny

Enda Kenny: said he had yet to read the judges’ submission. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Enda Kenny: said he had yet to read the judges’ submission. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 01:00


Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter have said judicial appointments should be based on merit but added they had yet to fully study all submissions on the system of choosing judges.

Mr Kenny and Mr Shatter were speaking after the State’s judges called for a radical overhaul of the judicial appointments process, saying a merit-based system that limits governments’ scope to reward political allies is vital to retain public confidence in the system.

Mr Shatter said he “welcomed” the judges’ submission to the Department of Justice as part of a public consultation on ways to reform the appointments process.

The submission was made through a committee chaired by Chief Justice Susan Denham.

Mr Shatter told RTÉ Radio: “We are going to look very carefully at the submissions we received. Judicial appointments should be made on merit.”

However, he said the judges themselves noted the Irish judiciary was not politicised. Mr Kenny said he had yet to read the judges’ submission, and said appointments to the bench must be made on merit.

“No matter what systems you adopt here, you have a judicial appointments board that recommends candidates for appointment to the bench at different levels based on their eligibility and merit to be considered,” the Taoiseach said.