Take that prick in charge of the Anglo trial - Martin Nolan. He decided in a previous trial that it would be unfair to jail the guys because the regulator was fully aware of their actions. Then he decided that the state’s knowledge of their action was irrelevant.
Pious Peter aside and with AH dead, not a lot to respect down in the four courts.
Let me get this straight, the AJI (Association of Judges in Ireland) support the setup of a Judicial council where complaints against Judges can be heard? Would love to see who would be the members of this council and if it would have any legal teeth.
You mean the old system of two FF political appointee judges for each non FF political appointee judge will change? Or is it 50/50 at the moment?
What are all the hack barristers who have spent all those years ever so carefully cultivating political connections going to do now? It not exactly a pleasure you know to be forced to socialise with politicans and their kith and kin. Or what will happen to the relatives of the powerful and well connected who need some kind of legal sinecure - for past services rendered?
After all, you need right thinking people in these position. Sound people. You dont want the wrong decision to be taken. So expensive to put right on appeal.
Its the end of the world. I’ll tell ya… Is nothing sacred.
Personally I think the large corporate law firms are usually extremely expensive and much dumber than barristers. Solicitor judges are invariably hopeless.
Clare Daly is right. The Courts are appalling. The lack of respect for lay people’s time is astonishing. You sit there all day waiting to ‘get on’. Affidavits are full of outright lies and histronics.
I only took one case in New York courts and observed from afar how it was better. The judge expected progress in advance of the hearing. There were emails and reminders and no messing. There was none of this ‘for mention’ nonsense.
And the tipstaff stuff and all the bowing to judges by barristers is ridiculous
Remember Shane Ross’s father was senior partner in MOP so his antipathy to barristers has deep roots. His commission will invariably result in more dumb solicitor judges.
If lay people are to appoint Judges then I would prefer that they be democratically elected lay people, i.e. you may as well keep the current system and reform either (i) the electoral system or (ii) introduce individual questioning and approval by the Dail or Dail Committees. I am sick of democratically elected people outsourcing their functions to unaccountable people, many of whom have even less expertise than the politicians appointing them.
Ross is the ultimate example of ignorance in action. The man is a journalist through and through. He thinks he knows everything but he knows nothing. That he want’s to appoint a majority of similarly ill informed people to a quango to appoint Judges is characteristic of his obliviousness to the vast expanses of his ignorance.
The insularity of the Bar does need to be scrutinised. The Bar is protecting its patch. Malicious whispers about the competence of Solicitor Judges are non-stop no matter how competent the Judge is, while deference is paid to wholly incompetent Barristers and Judges. The majority of lawyers on the appointing board could include academics, solicitors, in-house counsel and those working in the volunteer sectors.
There is a need for non-lawyer input in the appointing process. Judges management skills and understanding of social, economic and legislative policy needs to be tested prior to appointment. The scepticism of the Bar and senior Judges to the Construction Contracts Act is an example of how out of touch (at best - mercenary at worst) the current establishment in the Four Courts is. The Government must be able to interrogate potential appointees and to raise questions on such issues.
The demonisation of the Judiciary is a symptom of a dangerous disintegration in our democratic institutions. This is apparent in a number of countries and is not unique to Ireland or arising from what happens down the four Courts. My view is that it stems from excessively unfair division of wealth and income. Whatever the cause, the consequences of losing respect for the law and the judiciary are potentially catastrophic for society and it is the Government’s duty to protect the institutions of the State. FG, the party of law and order, through Alan Shatter have done more to diminish the Gardai and the Judiciary than any other Government in our history. This is due to their incompetence rather than by design.
I think that the problem is that the more you see of the system the less you respect it. The judicial system here is a farce and the political cronyism in judicial appointments is completely wrong. I don’t think it is damaging to democracy to have low level of respect for the judiciary, far more damaging I believe to ignore the issues.
Meanwhile, a solicitor steals 260k from clients and gets a year.
Apples and oranges, I’d say. The solicitor used funds to keep the practice afloat (amongst other things), and has repaid the money in full. She’s destroyed her life, is now going to jail and has got absolutely no benefit or financial gain.
The Romanian guy defrauded the social welfare 463 times and received €85,000 net that he shouldn’t have. The recovery of any of that money is doubtful.
I don’t think it’s a case of solicitors getting off lightly versus poor people getting hit with the book. That said, 3 years is a long time to serve for just €85k - people kill people in this country and get away with less time. As for the solicitor, IMO it’s a waste of time, money and life sending her to jail for something that has been resolved but I guess there has to be some form of punishment to dissuade people from engaging in that type of activity.
Grumpy is not comparing like with like, he forgets that solicitors are respected members of the community and are entitled to different treatment >> am remembering the TD who argued some years back, and reported here, how special measures should be in place to ensure bankrupt solicitors keep their large homes because they require such to indicate their respected status in the community, got sick on my shoes before finishing the article, was in the Independent newspaper as I remember, thank God I didn’t pay for it, it was a free giveaway in a hotel lobby aimed at boosting the numbers of daily buyers/readers INM could claim in their accounts.
Do you know for sure that she repaid the money in full? The article just says “Durcan has since made reparations to the Society from money given to her by her mother and fees due to the practice”, it doesn’t say that those reparations were for the full €206k.
Also, these are people that “owed €6.5 million to banks at the time due to the catastrophic property investments they had made”.
Have they repaid that money, or is that where my pension levies and USC payments went?
As for “destroying her life”, I think your mean “constraining her lifestyle”. Having to move to Belgium and change job is a very middle-class definition of life destruction.
She’s stupid, dishonest AND has the education and training to know better. No sympathy whatsoever. You should feel bad about making excuses for this shite.
Point taken on the other stuff, but at the same time she has suffered on a number of counts, including no longer being able to practice law, going to jail, separated from her children/family while she’s there and she has literally nothing to show for it - everything she misappropriated was repaid. It could have been a lot worse of course if she didn’t have her mother to pay back the money, leaving the Law Society out of pocket, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. As for repayment of the money she took, the article also says:
She presumably could have borrowed the 200k from her mother in the first place, but instead she stole it from her clients.
This is a perverse outcome, whereby someone stealing €180/week in social welfare in order to feed and house himself after losing his job is given 3 times the sentence of a member of the legal profession who blatantly robbed 260k.
He’s poor so he can’t repay the money. She isn’t so she gets off lightly.
This is the problem - you can get out of jail time (or other punishments e.g. disqualification from profession/driving) here by paying money. The ‘poor box’ or ‘donation to charity’ need to be got rid off. Also the concept that ‘people of status (or wealth)’ are punished by their very appearance in court.
The long term solution is to have a separate legal profession of Judge. Judges should be trained rather than selected. Promotion should be by merit. Sentencing guidelines should be in place but Judges should still have autonomy - with the caveat that they must produce a written explanation of their deviation from the guidelines. These explanations should form part of the package of considerations used to assess promotion in the system.
The time wasting in the courts system is awful - just ask any Garda about it.