Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice has said guarantees are needed to ensure the Government cannot change judges’ salaries, pensions or conditions of service after they have been appointed.
Sir Declan Morgan said that independent judicial appointments, security of tenure and remuner-ation are all designed to ensure a judge is not at risk of financial disadvantage “should they reach a decision which is not agreeable to Parliament or Government”.
There is already some legislative protection for judicial remuneration, however Sir Declan wants to ensure that any loopholes are tightened to ensure that salaries, conditions of service and pensions of judges “cannot be altered to their disadvantage after appointment”.
The annual salary for judges in Northern Ireland currently ranges from £102,921 for District Judges up to £214,165 for the Lord Chief Justice.
Speaking last night at the 5th Chancellor’s Lecture at the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus, Sir Declan also said that no judge should be told how to deal with a case.