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Respected for his open nature and ability to win consensus

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, President of the High Court

As President of the High Court, the judge – who previously sat on the Supreme Court and is still an ex officio (by right of office) member of that court – holds the second most senior judicial position in the country.

Appointed as a High Court judge in 1998, he was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2004 and became President of the High Court in 2009.

The judge is a keen administrator who is well regarded for his open nature and ability to win consensus on, and off, the bench.

He was instrumental in rallying the judiciary in 2009 when it emerged that only 19 out of 148 judges had opted for a voluntary pay cut in lieu of a mandatory pension levy that had been imposed on all public- sector workers.

Most eventually did so, in part due to the judge's behind-the-scenes work.

But it was not enough to ward off a referendum changing the Constitution to allow the Government to reduce judges' pay.

Irish Independent