This referendum is about whether the pay of judges can be reduced in certain circumstances. At present the Constitution does not allow for the reduction of the remuneration of sitting judges.
The proposed change to the Constitution would
|•||allow for a law to be passed reducing the pay of judges proportionately if the pay of public servants is being or has been reduced and that reduction is stated to be “in the public interest”.|
At present, judges pay tax and the Universal Social Charge in the same way as everyone else. Judges are not legally obliged to pay the “Public Service Pension Levy” although they may voluntarily choose to make an equivalent contribution.
The proposal would also
|•||allow for a law to be passed making judges subject to the “Public Service Pension Levy” and to any other future similar charge or charges.|
Proposed amendment – judges’ pay
At present, Article 35.5 of the Constitution states:
“The remuneration of a judge shall not be reduced during his continuance in office.”
It is proposed to replace this with the following wording:
5 1° The remuneration of judges shall not be reduced during their continuance in office save in accordance with this section.
2° The remuneration of judges is subject to the imposition of taxes, levies or other charges that are imposed by law on persons generally or persons belonging to a particular class.
3° Where, before or after the enactment of this section, reductions have been or are made by law to the remuneration of persons belonging to classes of persons whose remuneration is paid out of public money and such law states that those reductions are in the public interest, provision may also be made by law to make proportionate reductions to the remuneration of judges.
Links to background information related to this referendum: