Judicial Profile District Judge McSorley (Magistrates’ Courts)

District Judge McSorley (Magistrates’ Courts) 

Appointed 6 June 2022

Why did you apply for judicial appointment? 

Having been a prosecutor in the Public Prosecution Service for 15 years I was interested in a new challenge I considered that this role was a natural progression for me in terms of transferrable skills. I also considered I had much to offer the role and viewed it as an opportunity to enhance and develop my skills.  

Is the job what you imagined it would be? 

It has exceeded my expectations. It is challenging and rewarding in equal measure. The jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court is broad and varied. The Family Proceedings Court has been a new and demanding challenge, being an unfamiliar area of law to me. The importance of coming to a reasoned logical decision is not to be underestimated. 

What does your day look like?

When I sit in the Magistrates’ Court typically, I will be presented with ex parte applications in the morning which I will deal with in chambers. Then I will consider the cases on the main list, identifying any cases that require sentencing or more detailed consideration.  The Magistrates’ Court is a busy place and it is important to get work done as efficiently and diligently as possible to ensure that adequate time is available for the hearing of any contested cases. 

When I sit in the Family Proceedings Court I will get the cases in advance of the court sitting apart from any emergency ex parte applications. There can be voluminous statements and reports that require my consideration and yet the landscape of family cases can rapidly change due to new information or events that are presented to me. Case management is of particular importance in the Family Proceedings Court when making Orders which impact the lives of children.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The most difficult part is becoming comfortable in the unknown. Cases can change from what they at first appear. This is why it is important to remain open minded. The role requires focus and diligence and the ability to be adaptable.

What would you say to someone considering applying for judicial office?

I would encourage anyone who considers that they have independence of mind with conviction of character and good communication skills to apply. The role is enormously responsible it is important for any individual considering applying to be resilient.  It offers much job satisfaction.

Is your job conducive to a good work/life balance? 

Some days are busier than others and it is difficult to predict which days these can be, shorter lists do not necessarily mean shorter sittings. I have two teenage sons and overall, it has provided me with a complementary work life balance.