Seanad debates

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)


10:30 am

Photo of Michael McDowellMichael McDowell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Minister talks about other common law jurisdictions. We have a written Constitution. It vests in the Executive the function of advising the President. That is superior to any Bill we can wave at each other in these Houses. It cannot be curtailed. As long as one is eligible, that is one thing. If a Bill had been introduced that went so far as to state determination by the commission was a criterion for eligibility, it would clearly have breached the Constitution but the Minister is sailing as close as he can to that wind while attempting not to cross the line.

The Minister has had the floor here for a good while this afternoon. I have given him the opportunity to explain to the Irish people why a Government, when appointing an individual — to the Supreme Court, for instance — should be kept in the dark as to the identity of those who are willing, able and eligible among the present Judiciary to accept appointment.


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