Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill
Baroness Park of Monmouth (Conservative)
My Lords, in supporting the amendment I shall quote from the views of the SDLP and Sinn Fein when they were discussing this very issue:
"The SDLP would prefer to see more lay members than judicial members because the danger in the system that we are reconstructing is that the judiciary will have too much influence, power and control in the appointment of judges. As politicians, we in the SDLP believe that that is too much power to give to that body".
Sinn Fein warmly supports that view and states:
"One can reasonably anticipate a corporate approach to the appointments process. There is a very real possibility of little or no change and another lost opportunity".
I have quoted that only to demonstrate what could happen if we do not foresee the dangers in this part of the Bill.