Judicial appointments


Sir, – There was good if rather limited news from Minister for Justice Alan Shatter as regards his officials reviewing the procedures for selecting judges (Home News, October 25th).

The fact is that in almost all other jurisdictions over the past 20 or so years the system by which the government (originally the monarch) selected the judges with little or no consultation has been rejected or radically changed.

In stark contrast, Ireland in 1994 became the first country whose government fell over the political appointment of a judge. The incoming rainbow coalition, in feeble response, set up the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, which merely draws up a shortlist of seven qualified candidates.

Now that things have started to move at the Constitutional Convention, it would be well if the question of Ireland following the example of the rest of the world in selecting judges were put on the agenda of proposed constitutional amendments. – Yours, etc,


Emeritus Professor of Law,

University College Cork.