No deal for disgraced judges
Members of the judiciary who have resigned will not be entitled to new pension provisions being proposed by the government, The Sunday Times has learnt.
According to a draft law, serving and former members of the judiciary will be entitled to an uncapped two-thirds pension upon reaching retirement age. However, it will not apply to those who departed earlier for whatever reason.
Sources said this proviso in the draft Bill is intended specifically to prevent the two disgraced former judges, Noel Arrigo and Patrick Vella, who had been found guilty of bribery, from benefitting from these reforms.
Part of the deal struck between the government and the judiciary involves the introduction of a service pension to the judiciary aimed at improving their overall financial conditions.
Currently, retiring judges a normal national insurance pension, which amounts to some €14,000 a year.
Under the proposed amendments, sitting and former members of the judiciary will start receiving an additional second pension over and above their current national insurance pension.
Judges and magistrates are set to receive uncapped pensions. This means they will receive two-thirds of their actual salary.
This reform will put the judiciary on par with Members of Parliament and ministers, the only sections of society granted the privilege of receiving a second pension.
The reforms include an increase in the retirement age to 68, the holding of sittings in the afternoon and the introduction of an appointment system for all cases.
The agreement is, however, still awaiting the green light from the opposition, which has not yet discussed the proposals.
Labour’s justice spokesman Jose Herrera criticised the holding of afternoon sittings, mirroring objections from the Chamber of Advocates.