Thursday 19 April 2018

New Dail powers

•One thing we can all justly be very proud of in this country is the carefully constructed system for the protection of our rights that is, for now, enshrined in our Constitution. That system relies absolutely on the independence of judges.

The government now asks us to severely damage that independence by allowing it to decide whether or not to reduce the pay of judges. A moment's consideration unveils the great danger this amendment poses to all of us. If we allow this, the government will be able to decide whether or not to cut the pay of the only people who have the constitutional power necessary to protect each of us against abuses of the power of the State.

It is madness to allow the very government against whom judges are routinely called upon to defend our rights to have power to reduce judges' pay. The legitimate desire to ensure that judges share equally in the economic burden of these times should never lead us to abandon the cause of our own protection. The safeguards that protect judges are in place solely to protect us.

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