Judicial appointments

Sir, – The new Judicial Appointments Act is under discussion. The draft law establishes a commission that appoints judges to the minister for appointment. The blatant omission of this commission is a member of the legal profession.

As a lawyer before the higher courts for over 20 years, I can testify to the outstanding intellectual efficiency of our judiciary and the largely neglected breadth of consideration in day-to-day decision-making.

However, there is one latent problem that persists on the current banks and that is the lack of diversity. Although our judiciary has an excellent pedigree, they are not as diverse as the society they deliberate on. The lonely building of the Four Courts cannot be the only fertile breeding ground for candidate judges. The one remarkable bridge to diversity, namely the profession of lawyer, is shockingly missing in the selection process. As the largest profession with considerable legal knowledge and perhaps more importantly a real connection to the public, this seems like a fatal mistake.

We must not allow the blinkers of legal tradition to blind our peripheral view of broader society. The Commission must focus on delivering the best candidates and not create unnecessary barriers to inclusion in this process. – your etc.


Principal Kenny Attorneys,

Dublin 2.

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