When it comes to pay for the most senior judges in the UK, a judge’s salary can be considerably below the £150K threshold required by the UK’s courts.
That means it’s not uncommon for judges to make less than that to do their job properly, according to new research.
Judges in the country’s highest court are typically paid by the hour, and the latest figures show that the median pay for those with a two-year tenure is just £115K, according the National Union of Judges (NUJ).
This is down from the £160K the median judge earns in the past, which has seen them rise up the judicial ladder.
This is because judges are required to be on call and are paid by their colleagues, with the judge’s colleagues earning the majority of their salary.
However, the median salary for a judge who has served two years on the bench is now £165K, compared to £115,000 for a non-retired judge.
It means that the UK courts are increasingly reliant on judges who are either paid less than the UK median salary, or who have never worked for the UK government.
The NUJ research, conducted by the University of London, also revealed that judges in England and Wales have lost around two thirds of their judgeships to attrition over the past two years, with a third of the new judges leaving their roles to pursue other roles.
This has seen the UK drop to number three in the world for judgeships, behind only Australia and New Zealand, according a 2017 survey of more than 600 UK judges.
The UK is one of a number of European nations to have increased their salaries for judges, with Spain and France now the only countries in the EU to increase salaries for their judges.
The research also revealed an increasing number of judges are opting for the full-time role, as they find the time is more rewarding and the pay is higher.NUJO said the survey showed the UK is increasingly reliant upon judges who have spent time as judges.
“The rise in the number of non-renewals of judges is a clear sign of the importance of the role and its value to society.
The fact that judges now earn more than their peers and are more likely to be part of the public sector raises questions about the future of the judiciary in the United Kingdom,” said Natalie Williams, NUJO’s policy manager.