Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the judicial council will be placed on a statutory footing; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8749/15]
349. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the proposed judicial council, which has been under discussion for 16 years, will be legislated for; and if this proposal will include a mechanism for complaints to be investigated, of a judge’s alleged misconduct, as had been previously proposed by the judicial conduct committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9253/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 and 349 together.
As the Deputies will be aware, the Programme for Government undertakes to “legislate to establish a Judicial Council, with lay representation, to provide an effective mechanism for dealing with complaints against judges" . This commitment is being pursued by way of the proposed Judicial Council Bill which will provide for the establishment of a Judicial Council and Board of that Council to promote excellence and high standards of conduct by judges. In addition, the proposed Bill will provide for the establishment of a Judicial Conduct Committee, the membership of which will include lay persons, to facilitate investigation of allegations of judicial misconduct.
Work on the drafting of the Bill continues in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General and it is envisaged that it will be published during this Parliamentary session.