The Government is to nominate two female judges to the Supreme Court.
Ms Justice Mary Laffoy and Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne will sit on an expanded, 10-member Supreme Court under new reforms.
The expansion is aimed at cutting delays of up to four years in cases reaching the Supreme Court. The court will now be able to sit in two divisions routinely and deal with more cases.
The move is also intended to ease a backlog in the Court of Criminal Appeal.
A proposed new Court of Appeal to deal with civil and criminal jurisdiction is also intended to cut delays.
A referendum on whether to set up the court will be held alongside the one seeking to abolish the Seanad on Oct 4.
Ministers are keen to end the backlog in the Supreme Court as someone lodging an appeal now would have to wait until 2017 for it to be heard.
Ms Justice Laffoy presided over the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse from 1999-2003. Born in 1945, she studied at UCD and King’s Inns, was called to the Bar in 1971, called to the Inner Bar in 1987, and appointed as a judge of the High Court in 1995.
Ms Justice Dunne was appointed as a High Court judge in 2004. Born in 1956, she studied at UCD and King’s Inns, was called to the Bar in 1977, and was appointed a circuit court judge in 1996.
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