Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announces appointments of Lay Members to Judicial Council Committees
22 July, 2020
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lay Members to a number of Judicial Council Committees and nomination for appointment of Lay Members to the Panel of Inquiry.
Welcoming the appointments by the Government at today’s cabinet meeting the Minister said
“I warmly congratulate all those appointed and nominated to Judicial Council Committees and Panel of Inquiry today. Their experience, skills and knowledge will be of great benefit in promoting and maintaining public confidence in the judiciary and the administration of justice in our country.”
The Minister continued,
“The recent establishment of the Judicial Council is a landmark development, in the history of the Irish judiciary. Today’s appointments and nominations further build on the great work already undertaken by the Chief Justice, the Hon. Mr. Justice Frank Clarke, the Secretary, the members and staff of the Council in progressing full establishment of the committees to support the functions of the Judicial Council.”
The appointments and nominations announced are as follows:
Mr. Kieran Coughlan, Ms. Claire Archbold, Professor Maeve Conrick, Mr. Patrick Doyle and Professor Bernard McCartan appointed as Lay Members to the Judicial Conduct Committee;
Mr Vivian Geiran, Dr Diarmuid Griffin, Mr Michael O’Sullivan, Ms Marianne O’Kane and Dr SinéadRing appointed as Lay Members of the Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee; and
Mr. John Naughton, Mr. Eoin Doyle, Mrs. Molly Buckley, Ms, Clodagh Geraghty, Mr. James Doorley, Mr. Colm Deignan, Mr. George Maybury and Ms. Rosemary Smyth nominated for appointment by the Judicial Conduct Committee as Lay Members of the Panel of Inquiry.
The appointments and nominations have been made independently following a Public Appointments Service (PAS) selection process in accordance with the Judicial Council Act 2019.
Notes for the Editor
The Judicial Council, established on the 17th of December 2019, is an independent body whose members are all of the judges in Ireland and who constitute a separate and independent branch of Government. Section 7 of the Judicial Council Act 2019 sets out the functions of the Judicial Council as being to promote and maintain:
▪ Excellence in the exercise by judges of their judicial functions;
▪ High standards of conduct among judges, having regard to the principles of judicial conduct requiring judges to uphold and exemplify judicial independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety (including the appearance of propriety), competence and diligence and to ensure equality of treatment to all persons before the courts;
▪ The effective and efficient use of resources made available to judges for the purposes of the exercise of their functions;
▪ Continuing education of judges,
▪ Respect for the independence of the judiciary, and
▪ Public confidence in the judiciary and the administration of justice.
Lay Member representation is required, under the 2019 Act, on the Judicial Conduct Committee, the Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee, and Panels of Inquiry
The Judicial Conduct Committee and the Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee were formally established by the Judicial Council on 30 June 2020. In accordance with the Judicial Council Act 2019, these committees must hold their first meeting within one month of establishment and lay member participation is required at same.
Sentencing Guidelines Committee: Responsible for compiling guidelines designed to increase consistency in relation to criminal sentences.
Judicial Conduct Committee: A disciplinary committee with power to investigate complaints and issue varying levels of rebuke, to be established in guidance procedures, to Judges.
Panels of Inquiry: Shall conduct investigations of complaints referred by the Judicial Conduct Committee.