It's time to end toxic political influence in our judicial system
Change is hard to achieve in conservative Ireland, yet we are on the cusp of a major breakthrough when it comes to choosing our judges, writes Shane Ross
President of the High Court Peter Kelly is held in high esteem by nearly everybody. Including me. He has always been a no-nonsense judge, happy to kick against the pricks.
Last week he waded in on the side of the judges against the mildly reforming Bill set to remove the selection of judges from the grip of political cronyism. He dubbed the Government's Judicial Appointments Commission Bill as "ill conceived, ill advised" and being processed with "undue haste".
Not surprising from a judge, but maybe a bit surprising from Peter Kelly. Such a statement is expected from some of his friends on the bench. On a daily basis they have been circling the wagons round the ramparts of the Four Courts, eager to denounce the Bill as a "kick in the teeth" for the judiciary. Legal celebrities have been wheeled out one by one, to heap pressure on TDs.