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Minister Shane Ross's proposed reform is nothing like as radical as that, merely that the panel selecting Judges have a majority of non-lawyers on it, and that it be chaired by a non lawyer.  Precisely how those lay people would be selected has yet to be debated in detail - presumably they would be experts in other fields - but they would be political rather than Judicial appointees.

In practice the political affiliations of a lawyer often influences their chances of appointment, and this is the main issue Shane Ross is trying to address. I'm personally not in favour of popularly elected Judges, but what we have now is the opposite extreme: Entrance to the profession and preferment within it is controlled by quite a small circle of private interests and institutions, with no accountability to any one, and it is virtually impossible to remove a Judge who has gone rogue.

Judicial independence is an important constitutional principle but that does not mean that Judges become should become a self-perpetuating and self serving elite.  Most have been fine. My difficulty is a systemic one: the financial incentives are all to postpone, extend, and complicate prosecutions and disputes - thus increasing the costs, exacerbating the harm done to victims, and reducing the possibility for timely, harm reduction remedies to be introduced.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 5th, 2017 at 10:02:42 AM EST
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