Updated: 16/05/17 : 07:33:13
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Supreme Court faces three unfilled seats

Legislation to overhaul the appointment of judges is before cabinet this morning.

But the new bill might not be passed in time for the summer recess, leaving a major shortage on the Supreme Court.

There will be three empty seats on that court, including that of the Chief Justice, by August - with no cabinet agreement on how to fill them.

Transport minister Shane Ross is refusing to allow a cabinet of politicians to have the final say on how judges are chosen and has demanded new laws to overhaul the process.

A bill to do just that, and give the job to a panel dominated by legal outsiders, is finally on the cabinet agenda today.

Assuming it is approved, it will then go forward to the Dáil and Seanad to be passed.

There are only seven weeks of the Dáil left before summer break, and the bill is not on the schedule for the first two.