15 Jun Opposition calls on Government immediately to resolve the impasse with the Judiciary over their pay
Opposition Spokesperson on Justice & Governance, Senator Mark Golding, is calling on the Government immediately to finalise the long outstanding package of pay and other benefits owing to the Judiciary, in keeping with the recommendations of December 2015 report of the Independent Commission.
Senator Golding said – “The current impasse now sees the Judges, who have become frustrated to the breaking point from being ignored by the Government, publicly threatening to take the Government to Court to get what is due to them.
This situation is both unprecedented and constitutionally dangerous. In our constitutional system, the Judicial branch of the State is to remain independent, and stay above the fray. It is highly undesirable for the Judges to be forced to descend into a contentious public quarrel over their emoluments, even having to threaten litigation against the Government.
This situation has been allowed to fester for far too long. The Government’s protracted intransigence in dealing with it shows reckless regard for the Judiciary, and gross incompetence in dealing with an important matter of governance.
Indeed, the Judiciary Act was enacted to avoid precisely this, by establishing an Independent Commission review and recommend an updated package of emoluments for the Judges on a three-yearly cycle.
The Independent Commission’s last report, delivered to the Government in December 2015, still has not been implemented, and that is the crux of the problem. It is the Government’s responsibility to avoid a constitutional crisis by acting immediately to implement the report’s recommendations.”