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Minister Shatter welcomes passing of Judicial Pay Referendum Bill

Justice Minister Alan Shatter today welcomed the passage of the Twenty Ninth Amendment of the Constitution (Judicial Remuneration) Bill 2011 which has now been approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Speaking from Brussels, after the final stage of the bill this morning, the Minister said:

I greatly welcome the very strong support expressed on all sides of both Houses for this measure which, if approved by the people on 27 October, will allow judges to pay their fair share in contributing towards our country’s economic recovery. It was also extremely heartening to note the unanimous support of all Deputies and Senators for the principle of judicial independence with many noting the huge contribution of the judiciary to upholding the State in very perilous situations since its foundation. The proposal will protect the independence of the judiciary whilst also ensuring application to the Judiciary of the public service pension levy and the same salary reductions as apply to those in the Public Service. This will effect a saving annually of €5.5 million. The Government was committed to putting this proposal before the Irish people and I am grateful to my Oireachtas colleagues for their support in doing so at this early stage.

Under the provisions of Article 46 of the Constitution, once approved by both Houses, a bill to amend the Constitution is then put to the People for approval, and only if approved is the Bill then signed by the President. This would allow the introduction of the implementing measures contained in the draft Bill which was published by the Minister on 4 August last and which proposes to apply to the Judiciary the reductions already imposed on the public service in 2009.