Friday 23 March 2018

'Children's champion' nominated for coveted court role

Mr Justice Peter Kelly
Mr Justice Peter Kelly
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The Government has nominated Court of Appeal judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly as President of the High Court.

Judge Kelly (65) became a household name in 2007 following a series of high profile legal actions in the Commercial Court, many of which he sent forward for investigation to the Garda fraud bureau.

The Commercial Court is regarded as the 'jewel in the crown' of the legal system and the case management procedures and rules devised by Judge Kelly have been adopted by the Court of Appeal and other courts.

Judge Kelly, who became a Senior Counsel at the age of 36, now becomes an ex-officio member of the Supreme Court, having previously stated he had "no desire" to serve there.

The High Court Presidency is one of the most sought-after and senior judicial roles in the State.

The nomination caps an extraordinary judicial career for the Dubliner, who became known as the 'children's champion' in the late 1990s owing to his ability to take the Government to task over the management of children in care.

Judge Kelly has played a key role in representing the interests of the judiciary.

He is the President of the Association of Judges in Ireland (AJI), which represents more than 90pc of the country's judges.

The AJI was formed four years ago in response to cuts to judges' pay and pensions.

In the past, Judge Kelly has been critical of the manner in which judges are appointed, calling for an independent body to select judges.

Judge Kelly is an ad hoc member of the European Court of Human Rights and has many extra judicial interests.

He is chairman of the Edmund Rice School Trust, chairman of St Francis Hospice Dublin, and a director of the Dublin Choral Foundation.

Irish Independent

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