Richard Johnson (judge)

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Richard Johnson
President of the High Court
In office
22 November 2006 – 7 October 2009
Personal details
Born27 October 1937
Alma materKing's Inns

Richard Johnson (born 27 October 1937) is a former Irish judge, who served as President of the High Court from November 2006 until October 2009.[1] He was the second most senior Irish judge after the Chief Justice John L. Murray.

He was also under the terms of the Constitution of Ireland by virtue of that office an ex-officio member of the Supreme Court. In the absence of the Chief Justice, he acted as a member of the Presidential Commission.

Johnson was born in Tralee, County Kerry and studied law at University College Dublin (UCD). He qualified as a barrister at the King's Inns in 1960. He practised on the South Western Circuit (Kerry, Limerick and Clare) until he became Senior Counsel in 1977. As a Senior Counsel he practised on the Munster Circuit and in Dublin until 1987. He was appointed to the High Court in 1987.[1] His father was a district court judge for a number of years and his son and daughter are barristers. The Government nominated Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns on 7 October 2009.

After his retirement as President, he gave an interview to the media in which he suggested the legislature should revisit the issue of whether the death penalty should be allowed as punishment for particularly serious crimes, such as murder committed in the course of armed robbery.[2] Limerick Mayor Kevin Kiely supported the proposal as a response to the continuing increase in murders in Ireland.[3]


  1. ^ a b Stephen Collins (22 November 2006). "Cabinet approves judicial appointments". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
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Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph Finnegan
President of the High Court
Succeeded by
Nicholas Kearns