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Senior judges 'unhappy with salary and do not feel valued by media'

Two in three senior judges do not think they get a "reasonable salary", a survey shows.

Around one in six Court of Appeal judges and more than one in three High Court judges also say they would "earn additional income" if they could.

Researchers say a UK Judicial Attitude Survey shows "strong levels of disenchantment" among judges.

They say results show that two in 100 judges feel valued by the Government and three in 100 feel valued by the media.

University College London (UCL) researchers canvassed the thoughts of nearly all levels of the judiciary - from Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, down.

Supreme Court Justices were not questioned.

Researchers say there was a "near universal" response rate.

Judges were asked to respond to the statement: "I am paid a reasonable salary for the work I do."

Results showed that 65% of appeal court judges and 67% of High Court judges, who answered, disagreed.

Researchers also asked for responses to the statement: "If I could earn additional income through out of court work I would pursue this option."

Results showed that 18% of appeal court judges and 37% of High Court judges, who answered, agreed.

Four in 10 appeal court judges and four in 10 High Court judges also said they would consider stepping down from the bench if it was a viable option.

"These findings reflect a deep commitment to their job by virtually all salaried judges despite strong levels of disenchantment," a survey summary said.

"Judges feel most valued by their judicial colleagues ...

"Almost half of judges feel valued by the public, but very few feel valued by the UK Government or media."

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show that appeal court judges get more than £200,000 a year and High Court judges more than £175,000 a year.

"Almost all judges - 90% - feel their job has changed since they were first appointed in ways that affect them," said the survey summary.

"A majority of judges are most concerned by ... staff reductions, judicial morale, increase in litigants in person, fiscal constraints, stressful working conditions, ability to attract the best people to the judiciary and loss of judicial independence."

The summary added: "A large proportion of the salaried judiciary say they might consider leaving the judiciary early over the next five years."

Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Liz Truss said: "I appreciate concerns raised around pay and pension. Having a fair and effective remuneration scheme in place is critical to the continued attraction and retention of high-calibre judges."

She added: "I am working with the Lord Chief Justice and senior judiciary to address wider judicial concerns by providing judges with greater support in the courtroom, opportunities for development and progression, and improving the environment in which they operate."

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