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  • Appointment and Tenure of Judges of the Supreme Court
    many more years of experience than this minimum requirement Appointment Procedure Under the applicable constitutional provisions it is the function of the Government to decide who should be appointed to the Supreme Court The Government advises the President of Ireland of its nomination of a candidate for appointment and the President formally makes the appointment A person who is not already a judge and who wishes to be considered for appointment to the Supreme Court may apply to the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board JAAB requesting that he or she be recommended as suitable for such appointment The JAAB is an independent Board chaired by the Chief Justice The three Presidents of each level of jurisdiction District Circuit and High Court are also members of the Board While a majority of the members are judges there are two representatives from the legal profession and two non lawyers The role of the Board is purely advisory The JAAB considers all the applications before it in relation to that appointment and draws up a list of persons whom it considers suitably qualified for appointment This list is forwarded to the Government Generally speaking the Government is confined to appointing persons other than judges who have been approved by the Board The Oireachtas has reserved a power to the Government to appoint a person who has not applied to and has not been considered by the JAAB If it does so it must publish in Iris Oifigiúil the Official Gazette a notice stating that it has made such an appointment outside the JAAB procedure Security of Tenure According to Article 35 2 of the Constitution All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their judicial functions and subject only to this Constitution and the law Every person appointed a judge must take the

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  • Judges of the Supreme Court
    Court Members of the Court Judgments The Supreme Court Office The Legal System Publications Links Constitution of Ireland Members of the Court Current Judges of the Supreme Court Former Judges

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  • The Chief Justice
    of the Court Judgments The Supreme Court Office The Legal System Publications Links Constitution of Ireland Members of the Court Chief Justice Susan Gageby Denham The Role of the Chief Justice Former Chief Justices The Chief Justice Chief Justice Susan

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  • Chief Justice Susan Gageby Denham
    Judicial Council and the Courts Centenary Commemorations Committee Judge Denham was the Honorary Secretary of the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Ethics which in 2000 presented a report advising the establishment of a Judicial Council in Ireland This is a matter which Judge Denham has advocated for over ten years Judge Denham was part of the Irish delegation which with Holland and Belgium established the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary ENCJ and she continues an involvement in this Network Judge Denham is also a Vice President of the Network of Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union which is an association of Supreme Court Presidents and Chief Justices of EU Member States Judge Denham is the Chairperson of the Committee on Court Practice and Procedure which advises on the need for change in various areas of the operation of the courts One such recommendation has seen the establishment of a Commercial Court in Dublin which uses state of the art technology in its deliberations The Committee has also advised on the establishment of a new administrative infrastructure for the Courts Rules Committees These reports may also be seen on the above website In December 2006 the Government established a Working Group on a Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Denham The Working Group presented its report to the Minister for Justice Equality Law Reform recommending the establishment of a general Court of Appeal it was published in 2009 The Report and the Executive Summary are on www courts ie As Chief Justice Judge Denham is a member of the Presidential Commission in accordance with Article 14 of the Constitution and is also an ex officio member of the Council of State in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution Judge Denham is a Governor of

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  • Current Judges of the Supreme Court
    had become a senior counsel in 1985 During his time at the Bar he practised mainly in the commercial and public law fields including constitutional law He was twice appointed by the Supreme Court as counsel to present argument on references of Bills to the Supreme Court by the President under Article 26 of the Constitution He also acted as counsel to the Public Accounts Committee on its inquiry into the DIRT tax issue and was external counsel to the Commission to Inquiry into Child Abuse Laffoy and Ryan Commissions While at the Bar Mr Justice Clarke served for many years on the Bar Council including a term of two years 1993 1995 as its Chair He also served as Chair of the Council of King s Inns from 1999 until 2004 He was a member of the Council of the International Bar Association from 1997 to 2004 serving as co Chair of the Forum for Barristers and Advocates the international representative body for the independent referral bars from 1998 to 2002 He was elected as an honorary member of the Canadian Bar Association in 1994 and admitted as an honorary member of the Australian Bar Association in 2002 He has been a Bencher of the Honourable Society of the King s Inns since 1995 In the academic field Mr Justice Clarke was a professor at King s Inns from 1978 to 1985 and has been Judge in Residence at Griffith College Dublin from 2010 to date Mr Justice Clarke was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Law School in Trinity College Dublin in September 2012 Mr Justice Clarke has been invited to speak at many international conferences some recent examples being the Annual Conference of the International Association of Insolvency Regulators on the topic of the Irish Examinership model September 2010 the International Bar Association Conference on the topic of the Comparative Experience of Commercial Courts in Common law and Civil law jurisdictions October 2011 and the Hawkamah Judicial Colloquium on Reform of Corporate Insolvency Law in the Middle East North Africa Region MENA in Dubai in December 2011 He has served on the board of the Irish Law Reports Monthly and is the nominee to represent the Chief Justice on the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland While a judge of the High Court Mr Justice Clarke served as Chair of the Referendum Commission in relation to the Second Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty He was mainly assigned to the Commercial List of the High Court although also involved as the judge presiding over the establishment of a Chancery and Non Jury List for the first time in Cork Mr Justice Clarke was appointed to the Supreme Court in March 2012 The Hon Mr Justice John Mac Menamin Mr Justice John Mac Menamin was born in 1952 in Dublin He was educated in Terenure College and thereafter University College Dublin where he obtained an Honours degree in History in 1973 As a student he was a Council member

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  • Former Chief Justices
    for the resignation of the minister who had meanwhile offered an apology was defeated on 21st October 1976 The following day the President tendered his resignation asserting it to be the only way open to assert publicly my personal integrity and independence as President of Ireland and to protect the dignity and independence of the presidency as an institution A keen amateur actor in his youth Ó Dálaigh was a great patron of theatre and was a close friend of the well known Irish actor Cyril Cusack He died in 1978 in Sneem Co Kerry The Hon Mr Justice William O Brien FitzGerald 1973 1974 b 1906 d 1974 William FitzGerald was born in Cork in 1906 and was educated in Belvedere College Dublin and King s Inns He was called to the Bar in 1927 and to the Inner Bar in 1944 As a practitioner he was known as a remarkably penetrating and incisive cross examiner and a master of courtroom tactics He was appointed directly to the Supreme Court in 1966 and on the retirement of Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh in 1972 he became Chief Justice He had a relatively brief tenure as Chief Justice He died suddenly on 17th October 1974 The Hon Mr Justice Thomas Francis O Higgins 1974 1985 b 1916 d 2003 Thomas O Higgins was educated at St Mary s College Rathmines Clongowes Wood College University College Dublin and King s Inns He was called to the Bar in 1938 and to the Inner Bar in 1954 His family was active in Irish politics and from 1948 to 1973 he was a TD for Fine Gael in the constituency of Laois Offaly From 1954 to 1957 he was Minister for Health in the second Coalition government and he established the Voluntary Health Insurance VHI system He was a candidate for President of Ireland in the presidential elections of 1966 and 1973 In 1973 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court In 1974 he was appointed Chief Justice and held office until 1985 Among his most significant decisions were the upholding of the constitutionality of the Emergency Powers Bill 1976 after the President Cearbhall O Dálaigh had referred the bill to the Supreme Court The State Lynch v Cooney 1982 where a statutory ban on broadcasts made by any person seeking support for Sinn Féin for the pending general election was upheld and Norris v Attorney General 1984 where the constitutionality of a penal statute prohibiting homosexual conduct between consenting males in private was upheld In 1985 he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities ECJ In 1996 he published his memoirs entitled A Double Life He died in 2003 The Hon Mr Justice Thomas Aloysius Finlay 1985 1994 b 1922 Thomas Finlay was educated at Clongowes Wood College University College Dublin and King s Inns He was called to the Bar in 1944 and to the Inner Bar in 1961 From 1954 to 1957 he was

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  • Former Judges of the Supreme Court
    Hon Mr Justice Kevin O Hanrahan Haugh 1961 1969 NOTE The jurisdiction of the courts established in 1924 was extinguished by section 7 of the Courts Establishment and Constitution Act 1961 which formally established the High Court and Supreme Court pursuant to Article 34 of the Constitution Names from the above list may therefore be repeated in the list below 1961 present The Hon Mr Justice Cecil Lavery 1950 1966 The Hon Mr Justice Theodore Conyngham Kingsmill Moore 1951 1966 The Hon Mr Justice Kevin O Hanrahan Haugh 1961 1969 The Hon Mr Justice Brian Walsh 1961 1990 The Hon Mr Justice Andreas O Keeffe appt 1965 appt President of the High Court October 1966 The Hon Mr Justice Frederick Gardner Orford Budd 1966 1975 The Hon Mr Justice William O Brien FitzGerald appt 1966 appt Chief Justice December 1973 The Hon Mr Justice Richard McLoughlin 1969 1972 The Hon Mr Justice Seamus Henchy 1972 1988 The Hon Mr Justice Frank Griffin 1973 1991 The Hon Mr Justice John Kenny 1975 1982 The Hon Mr Justice Weldon Roycroft Cecil Parke 1976 1981 The Hon Mr Justice Anthony James Hederman 1981 1993 The Hon Mr Justice Niall McCarthy 1982 1992 The Hon Mr Justice Hugh James O Flaherty 1990 1999 The Hon Mr Justice Seamus Francis Egan 1991 1995 The Hon Mr Justice John Joseph Blayney 1992 1997 The Hon Mr Justice Donal Peter Michael Barrington 1996 2000 The Hon Mr Justice Ronan Colman Keane appt 1996 appt Chief Justice January 2000 The Hon Mr Justice Francis Dominick Murphy 1996 2002 The Hon Mr Justice Kevin Lynch 1996 1999 The Hon Mr Justice Henry Denis Barron 1997 2000 The Hon Mr Justice John Loyola Murray appt 1999 appt Chief Justice July 2004 The Hon Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness 2000 2006 The

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  • The Role of the Chief Justice
    of the absence of the President his or her incapacity in the event of the Office being vacant for any reason or where there is a failure to exercise and perform the powers and functions of the Office The other members of the Presidential Commission are the Ceann Comhairle Chairman of Dáil Éireann the chamber of deputies and the Chairman of Seanad Éireann the Senate Secondly under Article 31 of the Constitution the Chief Justice is a member of the Council of State a body which aids and counsels the President of Ireland in the exercise of such of his or her powers as are exercisable under the Constitution after consultation with the Council of State For example under Article 13 2 3 the President may at any time after consultation with the Council of State convene a meeting of either or both of the Houses of the Oireachtas parliament Former Chief Justices along with former Presidents of Ireland and taoisigh remain members of the Council of State for life Judicial Role The Chief Justice has responsibility for all aspects of the work of the Supreme Court She does not sit on all cases which come before the Court but

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