Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Determining judicial pay – current concerns

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Each year, the pay of judges is determined – along with other public sector senior appointments – by the Government, following recommendations made by the Senior Salaries Review Board.

They come to their views in the light of evidence received from government and the judiciary themselves.

In January 2016, the Ministry of Justice’s evidence to the Board was published. It provides a great deal of statistical material on the judiciary – both in the courts and in tribunals.

The Government’s position is that overall increases in judicial pay should be limited to the target that has been imposed thoughout the civil service that total pay should increase by no more than 1%.

But the MoJ concedes that there is some evidence that, especially for appointments to the High Court, the recruitment and retention of highly qualified and experienced judicial expertise is proving a bit tricky. The attraction of the knighthood/damehood that all high court judges receive on appointment and a good pension are – it is argued – no longer sufficient. The Ministry of Justice is therefore suggesting that the pay of High Court judges should be enhanced by 3% – to be funded by lower pay increases for other judicial ranks.

The Senior Salaries Review Board has not yet reached its determination for this year.

Looking ahead, the Ministry of Justice contemplates that – in light of all the changes currently taking place in the justice systems – there should be a more fundamental review of judicial pay, taking into account no doubt whether the current numbers of judicial appointments are appropriate.

I will note the outcome of the Board’s Review in due course.

The Ministry of Justice evidence is at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492029/senior-salaries-review-report-2016-2017.pdf with a short summary at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492028/ssrb-evidence-pack-covering-letter.pdf

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Written by lwtmp

February 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm

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