News Ireland 2014 Council of Europe reforms for judicial appointments in...

2014 Council of Europe reforms for judicial appointments in Ireland ignored


Amid the ongoing saga of Seamus Woulfe’s attendance at the Oireachtas golf society dinner in Co Galway and the subsequent fallout of the Denham review, the recent scrutiny of his appointment to the Supreme Court has drawn closer attention to Ireland’s process of nominating judges to the bench.

In 2014, the Council of Europe made a recommendation on judicial appointments along with other suggestions on political ethics which Ireland has not implemented.

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), a Council of Europe group, recommended the selection, recruitment, promotion and transfer of judges would be reviewed, to target the most qualified and suitable candidates.

Deputy Executive Director of the group, Bjorn Janson, said they have concerns about non-prioritised lists of candidates being put forward for judicial appointments.

Mr Janson said: “We have followed the developments in Ireland where there has been another proposal to change the composition.

“And that was criticised by GRECO actually also because the composition did not help with providing the independence of the judiciary.


No further steps will be taken against Seamus Woul…

“GRECO thought there should be more involvement from the judiciary in this body to select judges.”

The process of appointing Justice Woulfe to the Supreme Court has also under come criticism from the opposition after it emerged other candidates had applied for the vacant seat.

Sinn Féin wrote to the Ceann Comhairle on Monday requesting that Helen McEntee appear before the Dáil, likewise the Social Democrats have written to the business committee requesting the same. Labour’s Duncan Smith has written to the Government over the issue.

The week’s Dáil schedule however has not included any time for Helen McEntee to come before the Dáil.

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