How independent is the judiciary? There was a strong reaction from Government benches this week when I posed the question:
Mr. Ross: Senator Jim Walsh raised the matter of the Judiciary on which Senators Norris and O’Toole and I tabled a motion some time ago. I refer to political appointments to the Judiciary and seek a debate on ending political appointments thereto.
Mr. Lydon: Certainly not.
Mr. Ross: For so long, one party has put its own people in power and then another party has appointed its people to the Supreme Court.
Mr. Wilson: That is not correct.
Ms Feeney: Five High Court judges were appointed and they had nothing to do with our party.
Mr. Ross: …In the Bar Library people predict the outcome of Supreme Court decisions on the basis of party affiliation.
Ms Feeney: Fine Gael will tell the Senator that is not right.
An Cathaoirleach: Senator Ross is aware the Judiciary is independent.
Mr. Ross: The Judiciary is not independent.
Mr. Norris: It is supposed to be.
Mr. Ross: It is not independently appointed.
An Cathaoirleach: It is independent, whatever way it is appointed.
Mr. Ross: That is exactly the subject on which I request a debate.