Ireland: Judicial Conduct Committee Proposal In New Bill

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

IRELAND: JUDICIAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE PROPOSAL IN NEW BILL

A new bill which will establish a Judicial Council in Ireland will ensure that Judges in Ireland who are the subject of complaint can be held to account via the establishment of a judicial conduct committee which will include lay member participation.

The current system in the other Celtic countries including the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man is that senior judicial figures are not the subject of independent scrutiny operating instead the operate under a self-regulatory framework which ensures they are accountable to no one. This leads to a fairly widespread lack of confidence in Judges (called Deemsters in the Isle of Man) in these jurisdictions

The proposed (Irish) Judicial Council Bill will ensure that members of the public, court staff and members of the legal profession who have a complaint about judicial conduct will have a forum to go to. There is extensive provision for the resolution of complaints in an informal
manner, and for dealing with issues relating to a judge’s mental or physical health. But there is no doubt that if required, the judicial conduct committee will have teeth.The main points of the Bill are:

The establishment of a judicial council

The creation of a judicial conduct committee

New guidelines for judicial ethics and conduct

The creation of procedures for investigating complaints against judges

All investigations will be carried out in private, and the identity of neither the complainant nor the judge may be made public.

The publication of any information or evidence in relation to complaints will be an offence, punishable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €3,000.

The provision of a system for carrying out an investigation into the mental or physical health of judges.

The judicial conduct committee will have the powers of the High Court in compelling witnesses and ensuring the production of documents and its hoped the council will promote high standards, efficiency and continued education among judges.

In addition the proposals allow for the creation of a number of committees, including a judicial studies institute, to further education and to provide information, including on sentencing, and judicial support committees.
Related information here:
https://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/General%20Scheme%20Judicial%20Bill.pdf/Files/Gener\
al%20Scheme%20Judicial%20Bill.pdf

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

26/08/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

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Internet site at:

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