herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

'Yes' vote expected on huge pay cuts for judges

THE public are expected to grab an opportunity to slash judges' pay this autumn.

The country's most senior judge, Chief Justice John Murray, currently draws a salary of €295,000 -- if the proposed referendum is passed his pay will be slashed by €44,000.

Under the proposed legislation, the country's most senior judges will have their salaries cut by at least €36,000.

The public is widely expected to vote in favour of the measure which will allow the government to force judges to accept pay cuts of at least 15pc.

A 'yes' vote will amend Article 35.5 of the Constitution which bars political interference in judges' pay.

The October vote is being dubbed 'Super-Referendum Day' and will take place on the same day as the country elects a new President. Voters will also decide whether to grant additional investigative powers to the Oireachtas as well as bringing in stronger protective measures for whistleblowers.

The Supreme Court's six judges will see their pay slashed by around €38,000 with the country's 36 High Court judges getting a €36,000 pay cut.

Circuit Court judges and District Court judges will see their salaries cut by €21,000 and €11,000 respectively.

The President of the High Court is paid €274,779, Supreme Court judges get €257,872.

In 2010, 125 of Ireland's 147 judges accepted voluntary pay cuts with 22 refusing.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said: "It is important that the judiciary is seen by the rest of the community to be playing its part in recognising the economic difficulties of this state."

hnews@herald.ie

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