Monday 21 October 2019

Seven new judges nominated to Court of Appeal after criticism from Chief Justice

Chief Justice of Ireland Justice Frank Clarke
Chief Justice of Ireland Justice Frank Clarke
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The Government has agreed to nominate seven new judges to the Court of Appeal – less than a week after being sharply criticised by the Chief Justice for failing to fill vacancies.

Four judges are to be elevated from the High Court, while three senior counsel have also been nominated.

The High Court judges now moving to the Court of Appeal are Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, Mr Justice Robert Haughton, Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh and Ms Justice Mary Faherty.

The senior barristers nominated to the bench are Ann Power SC, Brian Murray SC and Maurice Collins SC.

Six of the nominations are immediate, while Mr Collins’ nomination is on hold until October 26 when Mr Justice Michael Peart is due to retire.

All of the nominations will now go forward to President Michael D Higgins to make the appointments.

READ MORE: Chief Justice hits out over failure to appoint judges as cases face delays

The move to elevate so many judges from the High Court at once will leave the Government under pressure to quickly nominate new judges to that court.

Earlier this year Mr Justice Kevin Cross said there were not enough judges to hear High Court actions linked to the CervicalCheck controversy.

The nominations come just days after Chief Justice Frank Clarke hit out at the failure of the Government to make any nominations after legislation was signed into law in July to increase the size for the Court of Appeal from ten judges to 16.

He predicted many scheduled cases would have to be delayed due to the lack of nominations.

The Cabinet decision means those cases should now be able to proceed.

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