‘Law Library insiders’ delaying judicial appointments Bill

Vested interests ‘hell-bent’ on maintaining political influence, claims Shane Ross

The Bill is part of Mr Ross’s efforts to combat what he says is “cronyism”.

The Bill is part of Mr Ross’s efforts to combat what he says is “cronyism”.

a
 

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has accused opponents of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill of representing “vested interests” who will “stoop to any level to frustrate democratic decisions”, following lengthy Seanad debates on the draft legislation in recent weeks.

Mr Ross and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, who is bringing the controversial proposed law through the Oireachtas, have accused opponents of the Bill, including Independent Senators Michael McDowell and David Norris, of filibustering – or speaking at length with the purpose of delaying.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: accused opponents of the Bill, including Independent Senators Michael McDowell and David Norris, of filibustering. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister for Transport Shane Ross: accused opponents of the Bill, including Independent Senators Michael McDowell and David Norris, of filibustering. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

“Law Library insiders are hell-bent on propping up a system of appointing judges that promotes political patronage and maintains their own influence in the selection of those chosen to serve on the bench,” Mr Ross told The Irish Times.

‘Cronyism’

The Bill, which sets up a new body to recommend candidates for judicial positions to the Government, is part of Mr Ross’s efforts to combat what he says is “cronyism”. There is already a body which recommends candidates to the Government, but Mr Ross’s proposals would see a new body with a non-legal majority.

Mr McDowell did not comment on Thursday night. He has conducted a detailed examination of the Bill and insists some elements of it are unconstitutional.Several Fine Gael Senators are privately sceptical about the Bill, which the party has promised Mr Ross it will support.

Mr McDowell has proposed a large number of amendments, but none have been accepted by Government.

a