News & Media

Justice Committee should hold hearings on the Judicial Appointment Process

20 November 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brexit, Northern Ireland and Justice

With the ongoing controversy over the appointment process used for the most recent Supreme Court vacancy, Labour Party Justice spokesperson Brendan Howlin has today written to the Oireachtas Justice Committee asking that it hold hearings into the process of appointment, taking evidence from relevant officials and officerholders.

Deputy Howlin said:

“For a week the government have hidden behind claims that any questioning of the judicial appointment process would be a breach of the seperation of powers. We know this to be patently false.

“Today I have written to the Chair of the Justice Committee asking that hearings should now be organised on the judicial appointment process to take evidence from relevant officials and officeholders in Government Departments and the Office of the Attorney General.

“This would allow us to examine the process by which appointments are currently being made. I would also propose that the Committee examine the appointment process used in other jurisdictions.

“The Programme for Government commits to passing a Judicial Appointments Commission Bill within the first six months of Government but it is clear that won’t happen now. Instead the time should be taken to look at this issue seriously and in detail so that the voices of all stakeholders can be heard.”