High Court President: Master has no authority to speak for judges

Nicholas Kearns has backed concerns about judicial independence

The President of the High Court has rowed in on the row over judicial independence.

In a statement today Nicholas Kearns has said that the Master of the High Court has 'no authority to speak on behalf of the High Court or its judges'.

It follows comments on RTÉ this morning by the Master Edmund Honohan in which he said he feels there is "a sense of entitlement" that judges should be consulted over any proposed new legislation.

The Master also said Mr. Justice Peter Kelly was over-the-top in reference to the judge's comments that the government is dismantling the judiciary brick-by-brick.

President Kearns has said he wishes to clarify that the Master is not a judge but an office holder with limited functions created by statute.

He has also backed as 'well-founded' concerns about judicial independence expressed by the Association of Judges of Ireland and has called the present situation undesirable.

Pay, pensions and future appointments are among the issues of concern.