Master of the High Court Edmund Honohan (above) told RTÉ this morning that the row between the Government and the judiciary has come about from a “sense of entitlement” that judges should be consulted over any proposed new legislation.
It follows Justice Peter Kelly’s criticism in the Sunday Business Post of new rules governing the judiciary.
Justice Master Honohan said there was no question that the judicial independence and integrity was under challenge.
“I’m sorry to say this, but I think Judge Kelly has got it wrong. He’s over the top here. There’s no question at all that the judicial independence and integrity is under challenge in any way. Judges, when they’re appointed, leave politics behind them. Now all of this brouhaha seems to be about some sort of sense of entitlement that judges are entitled to be consulted when the minister or the Government proposes new legislation of one sort or another. Sorry, but that’s just not correct.”
“Really there is no need for this hysteria about it and it seems to me that the minister probably has the better grasp of constitutional propriety about it. He’s moving in the right direction.
“In general, it seems to me that most judges would be upset this morning at going into court thinking that the public regards them as having a heightened sense of self-entitlement and concern about their status in society.”
The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, above, has responded to Master Honohan’s comments, saying Master Honohan has no authority to speak on behalf of the court or its judges.
Mr Justice Kearns said the concerns about judicial independence are well founded.
Meanwhile, the Association of Judges of Ireland has released a statement saying Master Honohan is a quasi-judicial officer only.
Although he probably earns more money.
Pic: James Horan/Photocall