Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)
I thank the Leas-Chathaoirleach for that. Section 45 requires the commission - as it states, "The Commission shall" - to provide the Minister in writing with a statement setting out the reasons a person is suitable for appointment to the judicial office concerned each time it recommends the name of a person to the Minister. That is the section unadorned with any amendment because the amendments have now been rejected. I am genuinely puzzled about what format the statement shall be in and what detail is it envisaged the commission shall provide to the Minister in respect of suitability for appointment. It is an unusual one. I speak as someone who has sat on interview panels, as many colleagues will have, and generally feedback is provided to people who are not recommended for appointment in the course of job interviews for posts as to the reasons they are unsuitable for appointment. What sort of reasons would be given as to why a person would be suitable for appointment, what would be the level of detail and how personal would a letter of recommendation be? It is a genuine question. I will not labour the point but has the Minister a view on this? Is it something that will be spelled out in greater detail in guidelines or regulations to be attached to the legislation, if and when passed, or is this all that the commission will be given in terms of guidance as to reasons?