This is a very small measure, As Senators are aware, a Joint Committee of the Dáil and Seanad was set up to consider what alterations, if any, should be made in the present administration of the law in this country. That Joint Committee brought in a very far-reaching report that is at present under consideration. I hope, in the fairly near future, to introduce legislation carrying out the majority, if not all, of the recommendations embodied in that report. There was one very small alteration suggested by the Joint Committee in their report which is perhaps more urgent than the general question—that is, the retiring age of judges. The present retiring age for Circuit Court judges is seventy, and for High Court judges seventy-two. The Committee suggest that the age of both should be raised to seventy-five. We are not satisfied that would be a good improvement. Some men are able to carry on with their faculties unimpaired to seventy-five; others may not.
On the whole we think that seventy-five would not be a good age. There is no reason, however, why the age of Circuit Court judges should not be raised to the same limit as High Court judges. This Bill proposes that the age limit of Circuit Court judges should be raised to seventy-two. If a Circuit Court judge goes out at the age of seventy he will, of course, be eligible to be reappointed under the Bill. Section 3 of the Bill deals with the question as to how the pension should be fixed. Shortly put, it is that he should receive his pension based on the number of years that he has actually been working.