Social Democrats call for US-style vetting of senior officials

Dame_Enda

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I have been calling for this for years.

Would you support this? I would argue that the Senate vetting process has helped weed out conflicts of interest and block appointment of senior officials where it could have impacted on policy to the detriment of the public interest.

I recall when Bill Richardson was going to be Obama's Commerce Secretary but had to withdraw when issues with campaign contributions were uncovered. Maybe similar oversight here will expose and prevent conflicts of interests in our health service (such as perhaps the recently reported payments from drug companies to doctors),


 


ruserious

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I wouldn’t want the appointment of senior judges and officials open to politicisation.
 

Dame_Enda

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I wouldn’t want the appointment of senior judges and officials open to politicisation.
Well neither do we want the current farce of suspended sentences for violent criminals and rapists. A balance is possible.

I am very concerned that judges are not required to disclose their financial interests, or to recuse themselves if they have investments in a company before the court.

 

ruserious

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Well neither do we want the current farce of suspended sentences for violent criminals and rapists.
So you’d want judges to declare during their selection process what sort of sentences they’d hand down? Bit prejudicial no?
 

Dame_Enda

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So you’d want judges to declare during their selection process what sort of sentences they’d hand down? Bit prejudicial no?
We want consistent sentencing. I do at least. The hue and cry over the cases I am talking about illustrate there is public demand for reform of sentencing. But to do that, we need judges who will implement the sentences. There is a very high recividivism rate among those released on bail.

We also need a register of judges financial interests so that they are not sitting on cases that affect those interests.

 

brughahaha

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I wouldn’t want the appointment of senior judges and officials open to politicisation.
They should be accountable to somebody , they and the entire legal profession have completely lost the run of themselves
 

brughahaha

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We want consistent sentencing. I do at least. The hue and cry over the cases I am talking about illustrate there is public demand for reform of sentencing. But to do that, we need judges who will implement the sentences. There is a very high recividivism rate among those released on bail.

We also need a register of judges financial interests so that they are not sitting on cases that affect those interests.


One of the people questioned over a recent shooting , was in their early 30s and had 80 previous convictions ...what the hell are they doing out of prison with 80 convictions!!!

Of course , no money for the legal profession if the criminals are actually locked up
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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We want consistent sentencing. I do at least. The hue and cry over the cases I am talking about illustrate there is public demand for reform of sentencing. But to do that, we need judges who will implement the sentences. There is a very high recividivism rate among those released on bail.

We also need a register of judges financial interests so that they are not sitting on cases that affect those interests.

Have you any data which shows that we have inconsistent sentencing?
In fact, have you any evidence at all that even suggests that there is a problem with our judiciary?
 

Dame_Enda

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Have you any data which shows that we have inconsistent sentencing?
In fact, have you any evidence at all that even suggests that there is a problem with our judiciary?
RTE Investigates did a detailed programme on this. They mentioned that in Cork, drugs offences got a custodial sentence in around 51% of convictions, compared to single digits in Co.Wexford.

Many in the judiciary are soft on crime. The constant stories of suspended sentences and people in the news with hundreds of prior convictions all the time, and getting bail.

There are honorable exceptions. Judge Úna Ní Raifeartaigh in 2018 criticised the lack of sentencing guidelines and the disparity in sentencing.

RTE said:
.......
She remarked that there was very little in the way of guidance for judges in terms of actual figures.

One judge's substantial sentence could be four years, and another's could be 14 she said.

She said it was somewhat bizarre that an area that was so sensitive had so little in the way of guidance for a trial judge.



The sentencing of rape offences was highly unregulated and this was a policy matter that had been much discussed, she said.


.....
Also see this part of the RTE website below from their investigations unit, where they go into detail on the different punishments (or lack of) meeted out by the courts and you will agree there is inconsistency in the severity of sentencing by the district courts from district to district. It has a map where you can see a breakdown in sentences by region.

 
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ShoutingIsLeadership

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RTE Investigates did a detailed programme on this. They mentioned that in Cork, drugs offences got a custodial sentence in around 51% of convictions, compared to single digits in Co.Wexford.

Many in the judiciary are soft on crime. The constant stories of suspended sentences and people in the news with hundreds of prior convictions all the time, and getting bail.

There are honorable exceptions. Judge Úna Ní Raifeartaigh in 2018 criticised the lack of sentencing guidelines and the disparity in sentencing.
That's just noise. Any actual data? Any actual hard facts?
 

Dame_Enda

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That's just noise. Any actual data? Any actual hard facts?
See this map. It has a detailed breakdown of sentences by region in the district courts.

For example in District 18 in the Bandon,Bantry,Clonakilty,Macroom,Skibbereen areas of Co.Cork,there is an 8% imprisonment rate for assault, compared to an even more pathetic 3.1% in District 23 (i.e. Co.Wexford).
 

Dame_Enda

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There is also the ethical issue of judges sitting in cases where they may have a financial interest, but which is concealed by the absence of a register of interests. Vetting would unmask these conflicts of interests and prevent compromised appointees.

District courts? What offences are tried at district courts?
Also, there is no context to the findings of that report...it's very lazy
Cases tried at district courts are:
  • Assault
  • Dangerous Driving
  • Drink Driving
  • Drugs
  • Other Crimes
  • Penalty Points
  • Public Order
  • Road Traffic Other
  • Theft/Burglary
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Cases tried at district courts are:
  • Assault
  • Dangerous Driving
  • Drink Driving
  • Drugs
  • Other Crimes
  • Penalty Points
  • Public Order
  • Road Traffic Other
  • Theft/Burglary
And how do you propose that we get consistent sentencing for such offences? And again, where is the evidence that there is a problem?
 

Dame_Enda

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ShoutingIsLeadership

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See this map. It has a detailed breakdown of sentences by region in the district courts.

For example in District 18 in the Bandon,Bantry,Clonakilty,Macroom,Skibbereen areas of Co.Cork,there is an 8% imprisonment rate for assault, compared to an even more pathetic 3.1% in District 23 (i.e. Co.Wexford).
What form did the assaults take? Any details? Is there a particular reason why you feel that people should be automatically imprisoned for assault?
 

Dame_Enda

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What form did the assaults take? Any details? Is there a particular reason why you feel that people should be automatically imprisoned for assault?
For serious assault I think they should be.

I have never heard of cases in the US or UK where people with hundreds of previous convictions are on trial.
 

Dame_Enda

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What form did the assaults take? Any details? Is there a particular reason why you feel that people should be automatically imprisoned for assault?
Do you want a list of every assault case?
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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For serious assault I think they should be.

I have never heard of cases in the US or UK where people with hundreds of previous convictions are on trial.
In the UK? Then you need to read some more.

You want our judicial system to follow the corrupt racist US model?

Define serious assault. How many of those Wexford cases were serious assault?
 


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