Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Venue: Room 30
The meeting commenced at 12.36 p.m. in closed session.
2. Assembly Legal Advice on changes made to the process of judicial appointments by Schedules 2 - 5 of the Northern Ireland Act 2009
Tara McCaul, Assembly Senior Legal Advisor, joined the meeting at 12.37 p.m.
Ms McCaul outlined the changes made by Schedules 2 - 5 of the Northern Ireland Act 2009 to Judicial Appointments and Removals in Northern Ireland and answered questions.
Mr Weir joined the meeting at 12.42 p.m.
Mr Dickson joined the meeting at 12.45 p.m.
Mr Lynch joined the meeting at 12.50 p.m.
Ms McCaul undertook to provide further advice on an issue raised in relation to the possibility of carrying out a further review in due course.
The Chairman thanked Ms McCaul for her advice and she left the meeting.
3. Briefing on Assembly Research Papers on the Judicial Appointments process in Germany and the United States and the process of appointments to the Court of Appeal in England and Wales
Fiona O’Connell, Assembly Researcher, joined the meeting at 12.58 p.m.
12.58 p.m. Mr Givan left the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that Mr Maginness should chair the meeting in the absence of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
12.58 p.m. Mr Maginness took the Chair.
Ms O’Connell outlined the key points in two research papers covering the Judicial Appointments process in Germany and the United States and the process of appointments to the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and answered questions on issues such as the role of the legislatures in the appointment of judges in the United States and Germany and the gender imbalance, if any, in other jurisdictions.
Mr McCartney joined the meeting at 1.03 p.m.
Mr McCrea joined the meeting at 1.14 p.m.
The Chairman thanked Ms O’Connell for the briefing and she left the meeting.
4. Discussion of the key issues arising from the written and oral evidence received in relation to the Review of Judicial Appointments
The Committee considered a document summarising the key issues arising from the written and oral evidence received in relation to the Review of Judicial Appointments and discussed a number of the issues.
1.29 p.m. Mr Givan rejoined the meeting and took the Chair.
Mr Lynch left the meeting at 1.29 p.m.
Mr Weir left the meeting at 1.32 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that Members should consider the issues further and submit views at the meeting on 29 March 2012.
5. Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting will take place on Thursday 29 March at 2.00 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.
1.44 p.m. The meeting was adjourned.
Mr Paul Givan MLA
Chairman, Committee for Justice
19 April 2012