Kearns named High Court President
Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns has been nominated for appointment by the President to the post of President of the High Court, the Government announced today.
The vacancy arises as the current president, Mr Justice Richard Johnson, retires on October 23rd.
Born in 1946 and educated at University College Dublin and the Kings Inns, Mr Justice Kearns was called to the Bar in1968 and appointed judge of the High Court in 1998.
He is expected to take up the position on October 27th.
The post is the second most senior position in the judiciary and carries a heavy administrative burden, as he must ensure backlogs do not build up in the court, manage the court lists and assign judges to maximise the use of resources.
The High Court President also has a number of statutory duties. Of these one of the most important is responsibility for wards of court – adults and children who are not capable of administering their own affairs.
Many of these are the victims of accident or medical mishap, who received substantial awards. These monies are administered by the courts.
The High Court President also has responsibility for the regulation of various professions, including solicitors, doctors and nurses. The High Court has the final say in whether members of these bodies should be disciplined, including by being struck off.