Shane Ross confident Judicial Appointments Bill will pass, in spite of AG's 'dog's dinner' comment

Shane Ross confident Judicial Appointments Bill will pass, in spite of AG's 'dog's dinner' comment

By Elaine Loughlin

Shane Ross is confident new laws to change how judges are appointed will be passed before the summer despite being dubbed "a dog's dinner" by the Attorney General.

The Transport Minister has come out to strongly defend the controversial Judicial Appointments Bill which he has pushed as a priority since coming into Government.

However, the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe today said there are "considerable difficulties" with the Bill and could not give a commitment as to when the legislation will be passed.

Attorney General Seamus Woulfe said the bill is now in a poor state because of a myriad of amendments which were made to it by the opposition at committee stage.

“Among a whole myriad of amendments, which they made, which make the bill a complete dog’s dinner, at the moment, because a number of the amendments are contradictory, inconsistent, and unconstitutional,” Mr Woulfe said at an event on Friday.

But Mr Ross remains adamant that the new laws which would see are a lay chair and a lay majority on the Judicial Appointments Commission, will pass "very very quickly".

He said that despite being "very controversial" the measures had been passed by the Dáil at second stage and had also gone through committee stage.

"It's now going to come back to report stage, report stage is normally a shorter stage than any of the others, it should go through that pretty smartly after Easter.

"I would be very optimistic that whatever happens here that it would be through by the summer," he told RTE's This Week programme today.

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