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Judge Peter Kelly claims government is attacking judicial independence


Should the Govt. have the power to sack a Judge?


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borntorum

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The front page of today's Sunday Business Post reports that Mr Justice Peter Kelly of the High Court has launched an unprecedented attack on the government and the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter. At a speech before businessmen during the week, he alleged that the government had undermined the independence of the judiciary, and that this could have repercussions for Ireland's reputation as a safe place to do business. He mentioned the judicial pay refendum, the proposals to bring in a court of appeal and family courts, and the breakdown in communication between the government and the judiciary in his allegations of interference.


The story is behind a pay wall and I don't have a copy of the paper in front of me, so if anyone else has better details please post them. But these comments (from a highly respected judge who can in no way be dismissed as a FF stooge) are quite astonishing and arguably could create a constitutional crisis. Surely Shatter will have to be moved by Kenny whenever the reshuffle takes place.
 


Sync

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"I haven't read the article and I don't know what he said so I've no real input as to its accuracy, but this is a constitutional crisis and SURELY the minister must lose his place now!!!"
 

borntorum

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"I haven't read the article and I don't know what he said so I've no real input as to its accuracy, but this is a constitutional crisis and SURELY the minister must lose his place now!!!"
Sorry for bothering to contribute a thread on this issue.

Tosser
 

Sync

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Don't apologise, it's always valuable to see who the most easily influenced people on the board are.
 

culmore

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just sour Grapes by the Judge because his pay was cut by this government
 

Devil Eire

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Between Shatter and Mr. Justice Peter Kelly, I certainly know who I would have a lot more respect for.
 

ger12

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Mr Justice Peter Kelly said the handling by this government of a range of issues - from Judges pay to the establishment of new courts - was an attack on the independence of the Judiciary and carried significant risks for the country.

He highlighted the impact of new legislation on Judges' pay pensions and the promised establishment of new courts with no guarantee that they would be filled by judges from within the courts system as the key factors threatening judicial independence.

He also pointed out that communication has broken down between government and the Judiciary in the last two years. There had been formal and informal methods of communication since the foundation of the State up until two years ago.

The personal insolvency service would be overseen by civil servants undermining the Judiciary.

Lots more. Buy the paper.
 

NewGoldDream

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While I think clearly he has a point, and he is highly regarded, and has shown no fear or favouritism, and Shatter is undoubtedly an utter gob@@@@e who has treated the office with contempt...is it entirely appropriate for a Judge to be wading into the political?
 

jmcc

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Might be worth buying the paper. But one simple question: are judges political appointees?
 

ibis

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Are people really so stupid and blind that they can't see he's right? Irish governments have successively destroyed any semblance of independence on the part of local government, reduced the Seanad and the Dáil to rubber-stamp bodies where they never lose a vote, and now people are blithely accepting that the only remaining part of our constitutional architecture the executive haven't removed as an impediment to their decisions should be attacked in turn because "dose judges earn too much, let's see how dey like it up 'em". Just as the councils were initially hollowed out by the highly popular removal of domestic rates.

When a government does something highly popular affecting the constitutional architecture of the country, it is not doing it for anyone's benefit but its own. And we won't get the "wake up sheeple!" brigade discussing this issue, even though this one will for once genuinely affect the level of government control of the country, because constitutional architecture is boring stuff. It's where real change happens, though, and it happens in every FG-led government.
 
D

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While I think clearly he has a point, and he is highly regarded, and has shown no fear or favouritism, and Shatter is undoubtedly an utter gob@@@@e who has treated the office with contempt...is it entirely appropriate for a Judge to be wading into the political?
I think if he sees a threat to the independence of he judiciary it is only right that he should highlight it. We are only too well aware that the present lot, given half a chance, will play fast and loose with the established institutions of the State. We have already seen the Opposition being completely denied their role in government, and even on their own side of th House, not only the backbenchers, but most of the Cabinet being rendered irrelevant and all power concentrated in the hands of the four senior ministers.
It is a time to treat government with a healthy degree of suspicion.
 

ibis

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I think if he sees a threat to the independence of he judiciary it is only right that he should highlight it. We are only too well aware that the present lot, given half a chance, will play fast and loose with the established institutions of the State. We have already seen the Opposition being completely denied their role in government, and even on their own side of th House, not only the backbenchers, but most of the Cabinet being rendered irrelevant and all power concentrated in the hands of the four senior ministers.
It is a time to treat government with a healthy degree of suspicion.
All of those points were true of the previous government, which was basically a duumvirate. This government is going further, though.

We'll likely see the same populism at work in any Seanad referendum, which will abolish any possibility that a party majority won't deliver a rubber stamp every time.
 

publicrealm

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Media reports suggest that Supreme Court Judges are paid about 270k pa. High Court Judges about 234k.

Late last year, voters supported a referendum to change the Constitution so that judicial pay could be cut. Judges had refused to accept reductions in pay along with other public sector employees by invoking a clause in the Constitution designed to protect the independence of the judiciary.
State salaries for judges fell 1.7% to

Emphasis added. A bit of a non-sequiter imo.
 

Eoin Coir

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It seems Kelly has let himself down badly here. Judges are being subject to financial restraints. Never !
 

Eoin Coir

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While I think clearly he has a point, and he is highly regarded, and has shown no fear or favouritism, and Shatter is undoubtedly an utter gob@@@@e who has treated the office with contempt...is it entirely appropriate for a Judge to be wading into the political?
That is a good and valid point to make.
 

Eoin Coir

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"I haven't read the article and I don't know what he said so I've no real input as to its accuracy, but this is a constitutional crisis and SURELY the minister must lose his place now!!!"
Why, because judges lose a few bob, and Shatter brings much needed reform to the process.
 

ger12

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I think if he sees a threat to the independence of he judiciary it is only right that he should highlight it. We are only too well aware that the present lot, given half a chance, will play fast and loose with the established institutions of the State. We have already seen the Opposition being completely denied their role in government, and even on their own side of th House, not only the backbenchers, but most of the Cabinet being rendered irrelevant and all power concentrated in the hands of the four senior ministers.
It is a time to treat government with a healthy degree of suspicion.[/QUOTE]

It was time to do that during the Oireachtas inquiry referendum and shelving of planning investigation in 2011.
 

ger12

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Why, because judges lose a few bob, and Shatter brings much needed reform to the process.
He has an agenda. Reform is not what I'd call it.
 

Sync

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Media reports suggest that Supreme Court Judges are paid about 270k pa. High Court Judges about 234k.

Late last year, voters supported a referendum to change the Constitution so that judicial pay could be cut. Judges had refused to accept reductions in pay along with other public sector employees by invoking a clause in the Constitution designed to protect the independence of the judiciary.
State salaries for judges fell 1.7% to

Emphasis added. A bit of a non-sequiter imo.
Also worth pointing out FG ran for govt specifically promising the referendum, then won, then drafted the referendum, then the people voted for the motion. So his issue on this specific piece shouldn't be with the govt, it should be with the people of Ireland.
 

PO'Neill

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It's not the independence of the judiciary that he is concerned about, the old pr!ck has the hump that his wages are cut. Simples.
 

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