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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 22 July, 2014

Dáil to debate plan to take senior Garda and judicial appointments from government

Independent TD Shane Ross says that “the system is rotten”.

Image: Judge's Wig via Shutterstock

MEMBERS OF THE Dáil will today debate the first stage of a bill that would take the appointment of judges out of the hands of the government.

The proposed 34th Amendment to the Constitution calls for an independent body to handle appointments of the judiciary.

The bill is being forward by independent TD Shane Ross, who says that the current system “is rotten”.

He says that the bill would bring to an end the appointment of political loyalists to the judiciary.

Speaking yesterday, Ross said that what he called “the current crisis” surrounding the gardaí could be avoided had “certain people not been appointed by the government”.

Those at the top of the administration of justice in Ireland must not only be independent of ministerial and government influence in their actions but must be appointed by a body which is not under government control.

Ross was supported by a group of seven independent TDs, who all backed the amendment, with many referencing the GSOC scandal.

Ross said that the plan would have a Oireachtas committee that was opposition-led, making it impossible for governments to “shove through” their own nominees.

He added that the new system would counteract political parties “ruthlessly favouring their own people” and remove any idea that judges are politically swayed.

“It’s impossible to prove (that judges are politically aligned), but these people who are appointed don’t wear their political colours, this will remove any suspicion of that.”

The bill will be debated at 10am today and the government is not expected to support it.

Read: Judges want to change how judges are appointed

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