Thursday 21 September 2017

Taoiseach claims judges must be allowed to 'get on with their work'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted that the option of appointing judges to vacant positions remains in place.

Following claims by Transport Minister Shane Ross that an independent appointment process must be place before any new appointment, Mr Kenny on Friday said judges must be allowed to "get on with their work".

Speaking in Cardiff where he attended the British-Irish Council, Mr Kenny said the issue of vacancies is under continuous consideration.

"As you know, we are involved at the moment in making arrangements for a different procedure for the appointment of judges, which is very important," Mr Kenny said.

"Members of the bench and the judiciary are completely independent of the Executive and that's the way it should be. There is one vacancy in the Supreme Court which the Chief Justice has requested not be filled.

"There are none in the Court of Appeal or the High Court. There are a small number at the Circuit Court and others that will probably follow next year on retirements or whatever. So we are considering all of that and clearly we need a situation where judges are entitled to get on with their work in dealing with the many cases that come before them at all levels of the courts. So that is under consideration all the time."

A senior Government source later said Mr Kenny's remarks should be interpreted as that the "door has not been closed" on appointments.

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