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Judges happy that their concerns are 'fully understood'

A row between the judiciary and the government seems to have fizzled out today with two separate developments.

Image: Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

FOLLOWING A “CORDIAL and fruitful” meeting between its president and the Attorney General, the Association of Judges of Ireland said it is satisfied the judiciary’s concerns are “fully understood”.

Justice Peter Kelly met with Máire Whelan this afternoon in the midst of a row between Ireland’s senior judges and the coalition.

In a brief statement, the group said the meeting was held to “discuss the concerns of its members on issues involving judicial independence”.

“The meeting was cordial and fruitful. As a result, the AJI is satisfied that its concerns are fully understood and that progress will be made by mutual co-operation in resolving issues.

“The AJI is grateful to the Attorney General for her assistance in this regard.”

A separate development also indicated a more conciliatory arrangement between the government and the judiciary. Earlier today, the Chief Justice said her suggestion to establish a forum for discussion about “matters of mutual concern” has been accepted by government.

The first meeting of the forum was held last Monday and Susan Denham said she had held many constructive meetings with Alan Shatter.

“There are currently issues of serious concern to the judiciary, which have been highlighted in recent days by some members of the judiciary,” Denham told the Law Society in Griffith College this evening, referring to remarks made by Justice Peter Kelly– and supported by the Association of Judges of Ireland (AJI) - which suggested that the government is deliberately attacking judicial independence.

The group noted the comments were about pay cuts, but also addressed the passing of legislation without consultation with the judiciary.

Earlier, the minister said that it was “unfortunate” if reductions in pay, brought in by a referendum, were seen as an attack on an organ of the State.

Chief Justice: ‘There are currently issues of serious concern’

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