In Brief

How much are UK judges paid?

Review panel recommends £60,000 a year more for senior judiciary

Judges in the UK should receive massive pay rises to combat low morale and recruitment problems within the judiciary, according to an independent salary review.

A report by the Senior Salaries Review Body recommends pay rises for judges, ranging from an 8% increase for district judges to 22% for Crown Court judges.

The most eye-catching recommendation is a proposed 32% hike for the country’s 97 High Court justices. That would represent an additional £60,000 per year for them, taking their salaries from £181,500 to £240,000.

Such a move would be “likely to cause fury for public sector workers who were forced to make do with 3% rises in recent months”, says The Sun.

The government-commissioned report “aims to address low morale among judges and to compensate them for changes to their pension scheme”, the BBC reports.

The UK justice system has been struggling to recruit high-calibre candidates to the bench, particularly to more senior roles.

According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice, judges in the UK receive anything from just over £100,000 to more than £250,000 per year.

The judicial hierarchy is divided into nine salary bands. The lowest-paid band, which includes employment tribunal judges and district judges, who preside over more serious hearings in magistrates’ courts, received a salary of £108,171 in the year beginning April 2017.

Circuit judges, who sit in Crown Courts and county courts, were paid £134,841, while High Court judges received £181,566, rising to £217,409 for the presidents of the court’s three divisions.

The uppermost tier is reserved for the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, currently Lord Burnett, who was appointed to the role in October 2017.

Lord Burnett’s salary is set at £252,079, just over £25,000 more than his counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland, who sit in the second band alongside the President of the Supreme Court and the Master of the Rolls, who presides over the Court of Appeal.

The Ministry of Justice said it had received the report and was “considering its recommendations”.

However, a source close to Lord Chancellor David Gauke told The Times that although the ministry was “sympathetic” to the pressures on judges, any pay rise “is likely to be closer to 2% than 32%”. 

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