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Legislation allowing for complaints about a judge's conduct comes into effect

It’s the first time in the history of the State that complaints can be made by members of the public.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee has signed the Commencement Order.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee has signed the Commencement Order.
Image: PA

LEGISLATION TO FACILITATE complaints about alleged misconduct by judges comes into effect today.

Any complaints about the conduct of a judge that is alleged to constitute judicial misconduct and ethics can now be addressed under these new procedures.

There is a time limit of three months within which a complaint can be made alleging judicial misconduct.

The complaint may be made by anyone who is directly affected, or who witnessed, the alleged misconduct.

If admissible, the complaint is then referred to the Judicial Conduct Committee.

A reprimand may then be issued to the judge, who could be required to report to the committee on their compliance with the reprimand.

After signing the Commencement Order, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said: “In a democratic society, the judiciary plays a central and independent role in how justice is administered, and our judiciary have provided us with superb service since the foundation of the State a century ago.

“These sections deal with judicial conduct and ethics. Crucially, they pave the way for procedures that will facilitate, for the first time in the history of the State, complaints from members of the public about judicial conduct.

She added that it is “crucial” to maintain and strengthen public confidence in the judiciary, which she labelled a “foundation stone of our democracy”. 

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