The Judicial Conduct Committee has sent a draft set of ethical guidelines to the board of the Judicial Council for consideration.
Chief Justice Frank Clarke, who chairs the Judicial Council, said that the board was meeting this week to look at the draft guidelines, which will ultimately go before the full council.
The chief justice was speaking at the launch of the body’s annual report for 2020.
The council, created by the Judicial Council Act 2019, is the first formal body to include the entire judiciary. It seeks to promote public confidence in the judiciary, and in the administration of justice.
The conduct committee will oversee complaints and investigations relating to the conduct of judges, and the chief justice said it had signed off on the procedures which would apply when the new system became fully operational.
Training for judges
The chief justice also said that “much progress” had been made on plans to improve judicial training and skills, with induction courses being developed for new judges. Programmes designed to meet the needs of a modern judiciary had also been identified and implemented, he said.
He added that the council had the capacity to play an increasingly important role in maintaining the current high level of confidence in the Irish courts system.
The council’s functions include setting guidelines to help judges to make consistent decisions on personal injuries awards, and sentencing.
Earlier this year, it agreed on Personal Injury Guidelines, which came into effect in April.
The chief justice also said that the council’s Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee had begun what he described as its “wide-ranging and hugely significant work”.