Seanad debates

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)

 

2:30 pm

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)

-----and I acknowledge his prowess as well as his experience. He spoke about skills and attributes and sought a definition. I direct him to section 50(1)(b) which defines the requisite skills and attributes in which he expressed an interest.

On the matter of experience, of course I recognise the importance of experience in many respects, but I draw Senators' attention to section 35(3)(ii) which refers to "an appropriate knowledge and appropriate experience of the practice and procedure" in the case of an appointment to the office of a judge. Later in the Bill, section 43(1)(a) states that the commission shall, in respect of each person whose name it has recommended to the Minister under section 40 or 41, provide "particulars of the person’s education, professional qualifications, experience and character". I firmly believe there is sufficient reference to the matter of experience to allow the commission to weigh it up in its deliberations. It is covered and there is no necessity to include further words at this stage, particularly in Part 8 which deals solely with the selection procedures and the requisite skills and attributes. As I said, these are somewhat different from the matter of experience, which is covered in the Bill, albeit in different Parts.

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