Seanad debates

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)


2:30 pm

Photo of Gerard CraughwellGerard Craughwell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

With reference to section 50(2)(b), it is commonplace when making appointments that there might be two persons who are eminently qualified but one does not have the experience required for the specific post. My colleague, Senator McDowell, articulated clearly that family law is a specialised, emotive aspect of the courts' work. Every week we hear reports on such cases on RTE radio. The experience required to deal with family law cases is different from that required for criminal law. Senator McDowell observed that a person who is tired after a morning of listening to arguments about television licence fees might not be particularly sympathetic when it comes to dealing with a very emotional and difficult family law case in the afternoon. If this Bill does what we intend it to do, it will make the courts a much better place. Having specialist judges dealing with issues is the right way to go, and experience is key to such specialism.


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