The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill has been referred to the Supreme Court by President Michael D Higgins.
This is the first time this President has referred a bill to the Supreme Court to have the bill reviewed as to its constitutionality. If it is found to be repugnant to the Constitution the President cannot sign it and it will fail.
A hearing will now be held in the Supreme Court in November with arguments for and against the bill which is concerned with the way Judges are to be appointed in the future.
The appointment of judges in Ireland, pursuant to the Constitution, are a matter for government and opponents of the bill argue that the proposed commission to be set up under the bill would interfere with the government’s discretion and would therefore be unconstitutional.