Government determined to proceed with new law on judicial appointments

Update 11:45am: Government sources say they're determined to proceed with a new law on judicial appointments - despite growing tensions with judges.

The cabinet has been meeting to discuss the plans, which will receive their first debate in the Dáil tonight.

Earlier: Ministers are preparing for a Cabinet showdown this morning over plans to overhaul the appointment of judges.

Transport minister Shane Ross is demanding the government move ahead with its plans - while the Fine Gael minister responsible for the law is encouraging TDs to speak against it.

Justice minister Charlie Flanagan will introduce the long-awaited Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the Dáil this evening.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan

It's being pushed forward at the behest of the Independent Alliance - and in particular the transport minister Shane Ross, who doesn't want the names of judges put forward by a body dominated by lawyers.

Cabinet sources have said the governemnt is determined to press ahead with the bill, however, last night it emerged Flanagan was unhappy with some of Shane Ross's comments, and parts of the bill itself and wants Fine Gael backbenchers to speak against it.

The cabinet will also discuss the unprecedented letter written by the Chief Justice and leading colleagues last night, saying the bill had "serious implications for the administration of justice".

If the bill does continue to the Dáil, it will only pass thanks to the support of Sinn Féin - given that Fianna Fáil are planning to vote against it.


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