Wednesday 21 February 2018

New judges 'should face medical test'

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

PROSPECTIVE judges should have to undergo a medical examination to prove they are physically up to the job, the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board has recommended.

In its 2012 annual report, the board points out that as far back as 10 years previously, it was concerned by the absence of procedures for ensuring that judicial appointments undergo medical examination.

It recommended in 2002 that the government should consider amending legislation to include the requirement before an appointment was finalised.

Improved procedures were put in place where applicants were asked to confirm whether there was any reason that might prevent them from carrying out their judicial functions.

However, the legislation was never amended and the advisory board has reiterated its calls to put in place a structure for medical examinations for successful candidates.

It also said the board was "strongly of the opinion" that the anonymity of all the applicants who are recommended is best preserved if only the person whom the Government proposes to advise the president to appoint to judicial office is subject to a medical examination.

Meanwhile, a total of 17 new judges were appointed in 2012, following recommendations made by the advisory board.

Eight new judges were appointed to the district court, while six new circuit court judges were chosen.

In the High Court, Paul McDermott, Iseult O'Malley and Colm MacEochaidh were appointed as ordinary judges.

The Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke and The Hon Mr Justice John MacMenamin were elevated to the Supreme Court from the High Court on March 15, 2012. His Honour Judge Raymond Groarke was appointed president of the circuit court on July 13, 2012, while Judge Rosemary Horgan was appointed President of the district court.

Judge David Riordan was elevated to the circuit court on April 12, 2012.

Irish Independent

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