Senior judges make historic intervention in judicial appointments row

Senior judges make historic intervention in judicial appointments row

The country’s most senior judges have made an historic intervention this evening  in the row over the future of judicial appointments.

Chief Justice Susan Denham and the presidents of the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Circuit Court and the District Court have written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to express their concern on proposed judicial appointments legislation.

Never before in the history of the State have the presidents of all the major courts written to the Taoiseach about a political matter.

The unprecedented letter comes just hours before the Dáil begins debating new legislation to overhaul the judicial appointments system.

The text of the letter has not been revealed, but the judges say the letter was necessary given the bill has "serious implications for the administration of justice".

Senior judges make historic intervention in judicial appointments row

Chief Justice Susan Denham

The letter comes only a few hours after a statement from the Association of Judges of Ireland, who said nobody could explain the rationale for needing a lay majority on the new board, or for excluding the presidents of the District and Circuit Courts.

There has been no reaction this evening from Government Buildings but transport minister Shane Ross has said that while he understands the resistance he’s looking forward to citizens working with judges to choose nominees in future.

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