HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS
Justice Committee resumes pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2020
The Joint Committee on Justice will conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2020 (resumed) on Tuesday, 15 June, at 3:30 pm in Committee Room 1.
Representatives from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Officials from the Department of Justice will be in attendance.
The General Scheme of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill will provide for the establishment of a Judicial Appointments Commission of 9 members to replace the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board (JAAB). It also provides for equal legal and lay representation for voting purposes. The current JAAB process only concerns first-time judicial appointments, with no statutory advisory role in place in respect of appointments from the ranks of serving judges. Under the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, both serving judges and non-judges will have to apply through the Judicial Appointments Commission.
Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy James Lawless said: “The Committee continues its debate on Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2020, and we welcome representatives from Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Officials from the Department of Justice. This Bill will allow for one of the biggest judicial reforms in some time and we need to have these robust conversations now to get it right.”
The Cathaoirleach added: “It’s important to understand the role JAAB currently plays, and whether it is something akin to Garda vetting, just clearing candidates, or whether it should perform a selection and/or ranking role. It also seems somewhat contrary to the spirit of the process if it can be effectively bypassed when Government wish to. We need to ensure the new law plugs these gaps and that we help identify them as part of our scrutiny”
The Joint Committee on Justice has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.
You can view the meeting in Committee Room 1 on the Oireachtas website.
More information can be found on the dedicated Committee Webpage. Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.