Judges Get E2.43m in Expenses and E26,143 Is for Wigs and Gowns; It's Your Money, but Who Gets What Is Kept Secret

Daily Mail (London), February 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

Judges Get E2.43m in Expenses and E26,143 Is for Wigs and Gowns; It's Your Money, but Who Gets What Is Kept Secret


Byline: Gordon Deegan s

THE expenses' bill for the country's judiciary last year increased by 5.6 per cent to $2.43million - including $26,143 spent on wigs and gowns.

The figures show overall expenses increased by $129,000 from the only public sector group that will not pay the pension levy for constitutional reasons.

The 145 judges claimed $757,466 in travel expenses last year and $1.64million in 'subsistence'.

The figures released through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that one district court judge received more than $60,000 in expenses - on top of a salary of $134,000.

Who got what among 145 judges is not being revealed by the Court Service 'due to security concerns for them and their families.' The figures show that the State's 61 district court judges received $1.35million in expenses last year with six receiving in excess of $50,000 each.

Circuit court judges receive an annual salary of $160,950 and they received $906,381 in expenses last year. Ten judges claimed expenses in excess of $40,000.

High Court judges each receive a salary of $220,348 and the figures show that these 38 judges received $159,533 in expenses.

The eight Supreme Court judges who earn $233,757 - claimed $16,578 in expenses.

In relation to the spending on wigs and gowns, the judges purchased one wig; ten gowns at $390 each, 14 long court coats at $745 each; seven short court coats at $575 each, seven waistcoats at $165 each and 26 pieces of neck attire at $12 each.

They had received a 46 per cent increase to their lifetime wig allowance in May 2007, from $1,500 to $2,195.

The Freedom of Information Unit cited security fears as the reason the Court Service had not released information on named individuals.

'Judges have a central role in protecting the security of the State and we considered it inappropriate to make a decision which could compromise them in carrying out their role and protecting the security of the State,' a spokesman said. …

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