Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)
Before the Minister responds, I will add three further brief points. The first concerns the relationship to which Senator McDowell referred between section 38 and section 44. It is an important point. Section 44 refers to the most senior judicial appointments. Section 44(1) and (9) give the commission power to seek expressions of interest from eligible persons who wish to be considered for appointment to such office. It is interesting it is provided for in section 44 in respect of those three positions, although only at the request of the Minister. There is not a similar power with regard to other appointments. That is the power we are seeking to insert through amendment No. 84.
I will make two further points on amendments Nos. 84 and 85. The issue of the internal inconsistency of the Bill is something we have spoken about before. There is one issue in terms of section 38 that may already enable the commission to seek expressions of interest if one reads it in a particular way. Section 38(c) gives the commission power to do such other things as it considers necessary to enable it to perform its function in selecting persons to be the subject of a recommendation for appointment to judicial office. Arguably, it could empower the commission to directly invite a particular person to make an application but-----