Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Monitoring the Irish Judiciary

Ireland could usefully examine the Californian model for monitoring the Judiciary - their Judicial Performance Commission. Most importantly it has 11 members but 6 are ordinary citizens, with 2 nominated by the Governor, 2 by the Senate Rules Cte, and 2 by the Speaker.

 Only 3 are Judges [ from different levels, but nominated by the Supreme Court ], and with 2 Lawyers.

 Ireland also urgently needs a Constitutional Amendment to provide for Impeachment of Judges, including not least an explicit provision covering Mis-conduct by Judges damaging the judicial office.

 The recent over-the-top public hysteria from some Judges needs to be turned to some good - it is time to face issues such as the above.
 As well as developing a coherent Sentencing Process, including identifying, as well as weighing, both Mitigating and Aggravating factors.

And having a transparent and public process for selecting Judges - maybe also for promoting some to sit on and preside over higher Courts ?

 The core principle - *Nemo Judex in Sua Causa* [ no-one the judge in their own case ] must fully apply to Judges no less than to everyone else. Judges are not above the Law, nor are Doctors or Broadcasters or Lawyers or Police or Teachers, none of whom should be free to enjoy purely internal self-regulation.

And when some Judges suddenly choose in recent days, for the first time in Ireland, to indulge in public hysteria, alleging as one did [ with absolutely no evidence whatsoever ] that the Irish Govt is bent on dismantling Judicial Independence *brick-by-brick*, they gravely damage not only their own standing, but that of the Judiciary itself. And unwittingly highlight the urgent need for effective monitoring of the Judiciary.

 It is also vital for democracy, both in Ireland and in the EU, and for the Sovereignty of the People, that Judges, at all levels, see themselves as only there to apply, but not to invent, the Law, and the Constitution, with both amendment, repeal or enactment of Law or of Articles of the Constitution, being clearly and unambiguously the exclusive prerogative of the elected Lawmakers.

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