The minutes of the joint committee meeting of 6 December

Mr. Edmund Honohan

There is an astonishing ignorance on the part of the public as to what exactly judges know or do not know. Technically, they come into court with a clean sheet of paper, and it is the responsibility of counsel and the parties to tell the judge what the law is. Often, it is the case that the judge will say he or she does not need to be told and that he or she knows what the law is, but sometimes a position, proposition or a submission is made by one party to which the other party is not in a position to respond. The judge then is left with a situation where he or she may or may not have the resources to go and inform himself or herself, but there is no obligation to do so. When I started as a master, there was a rather amusing practice in place which was the link between this place and that place, whereby I was sent three hard copies of every statutory instrument in a brown envelope. That was the link between the Oireachtas and the Judiciary. Apart from that, there was no formal method of communicating the content of statutory instruments. The problem is, according to Trevor Redmond in Law of the European Union: