We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.


Strictly necessary cookies

Cookie name Duration Cookie purpose
ASP.NET_SessionId Session This cookie holds the current session id (OPPassessment only)
.ASPXANONYMOUS 2 Months Authentication to the site
LSI 1 Year To remember cookie preference for Law Society websites (www.lawsociety.ie, www.legalvacancies.ie, www.gazette.ie)
FTGServer 1 Hour Website content ( /CSS , /JS, /img )
_ga 2 Years Google Analytics
_gat Session Google Analytics
_git 1 Day Google Analytics
AptifyCSRFCookie Session Aptify CSRF Cookie
CSRFDefenseInDepthToken Session Aptify defence cookie
EB5Cookie Session Aptify eb5 login cookie

Functional cookies

Cookie name Duration Cookie purpose
Zendesk Local Storage Online Support
platform.twitter.com Local Storage Integrated Twitter feed

Marketing cookies

Cookie name Duration Cookie purpose
fr 3 Months Facebook Advertising - Used for Facebook Marketing
_fbp 3 months Used for facebook Marketing
State ‘dragging heels’ on training for judges

21 Feb 2022 / judiciary Print

State ‘dragging heels’ on training for judges

A fresh report on the judicial system has argued that Government underfunding of the judiciary is hampering access to justice in Ireland.

Its authors also call for guidelines to be drawn up for the Oireachtas in cases where the Judicial Council recommends the removal of a judge.

The report, which analyses how the Judicial Council Act 2019 has been implemented, has been published by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the University of Limerick, and NUI Galway, with funding from the Irish Research Council.

It finds that Ireland has the lowest number of judges per head in the EU, and argues that the State does not provide enough resources for the education and training courses that are needed for judges to keep up with changes in the law, in Irish society, or best practice internationally.

Oireachtas process

On the potential removal of a judge, the report says that “it is not at all clear” what processes should be adopted once such a proposal has gone to the Oireachtas. It describes issues about whether the question of removal can be discussed in advance of a motion as “nebulous”.

Co-author of the report Dr Laura Cahillane (University of Limerick) said: “At this stage it’s necessary that the Oireachtas decide on, and publish, a process for what to do when removal of a judge is recommended.

“An opportunity to do so was missed with the Judicial Council Act, but it can and should still be done now,” she added.

Call for complaints clarity

Co-author Dr Rónán Kennedy (NUI Galway) commented that, while new training for judges was underway, many had been taking time off and self-funding training up to now.

The ICCL said that the State had “dragged its heels” on properly resourcing training, which was “bad news for access to justice”.

Doireann Ansbro (head of legal and policy at ICCL) welcomed the advances brought about by the 2019 legislation, but expressed concern about the complaints process, arguing that it should be “more transparent”, and provide clarity for judges and complainants.

Guidelines on conduct

The Judicial Council, which represents the country’s judges, recently adopted guidelines on judicial conduct and ethics.

Their approval was required before the Judicial Conduct Committee could begin to oversee complaints and investigations relating to the conduct of judges in June of this year.

Under the 2019 act, the Judicial Council is charged which promoting and maintaining excellence in the exercise by judges of their judicial functions, and high standards of conduct among judges.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland