Attorney General’s public comments are gross interference

March 25, 2018

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD today accused the Attorney General of inappropriate and gross interference in legislative and judicial matters that he has no place commenting on.

The Dublin north west TD said:

“The job of the chief law officer of the state is to advise the government – not to weigh in with his personal opinions in public. The Attorney General has over-stepped the line in relation to the separation of powers with his remarks on both the Judicial Appointments Bill and the forthcoming Supreme Court ruling in the case by Angela Kerins against the Public Accounts Committee.

“The AG’s interventions are entirely shocking and profoundly disturbing – they amount to gross interference in matters that are appropriately the responsibility of the legislature and the judiciary.

“Legislators are elected to make laws and if the Attorney General has concerns that opposition amendments to the judicial appointments bill were unconstitutional then he should raise these at cabinet – not at a public event and in the presence of journalists.”

Deputy Shortall added:

“The Attorney General’s reportedly ‘off the record’ prediction that the Supreme Court would uphold the High Court’s dismissal of Ms Kerins’ case against PAC is also very troubling – particularly given that the office of the Attorney General is a named respondent in the case.

“The Taoiseach needs to come before the Dáil and tell us whether he finds the Attorney General’s comments acceptable or appropriate. Bizarrely, in this instance the Taoiseach has been put in a position where he cannot call upon the advice of the Attorney General given that Mr Woulfe’s public comments have compromised his constitutional role.”

ENDS

25 March 2018