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EU judges total pay package now more than €300,000

Allowances include allocations for household, entertainment, children and education

Ireland’s member: Judge Eugene Regan of the Court of Justice, a former barrister, Fine Gael senator and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown councillor

Judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union have received a pay increase of 2.4 per cent this year, bringing their basic salaries to almost €256,000.

With an allowance for entertainment and a 15 per cent residence allowance, a judge can earn more than €300,000 a year. There are also household, children and education allowances if a judge has children, worth more than €9,500 for one child. Each judge is entitled to a car and chauffeur.

Judges have their salaries tied to the EU rate for civil servants and received the wage rise when an increase was agreed for the EU’s civil servants. Under the agreement, they will also receive a once-off lump sum payment, backdating the wage increase to July 2015.

There are 28 judges of the Court of Justice, five of whom are women. Their basic salary, before allowances, is calculated at 112.5 per cent of the highest civil service grade. There are also 11 advocates-general of the court, who earn the same salary as judges and who offer legal opinion to the court in advance of final decisions being made.

When appointed, judges receive a once-off installation payment worth two months basic salary, €41,664, along with travel expenses for themselves and their family, and furniture-moving costs. When a judge finishes working for the court, he or she is entitled to a transitional allowance for three years of between €100,000 and €162,493. A judge may also retain the family allowance and receive a once-off resettlement allowance of €20,832.

Pension

Judges are entitled to a pension at 65 years of age. Based on final salary and depending on service, it cannot exceed 70 per cent of basic salary, or €174,993 a year. A pension may be drawn from aged 60 at a lower rate.

Ireland’s member is Judge Eugene Regan, a former barrister, Fine Gael senator and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown councillor. He was appointed last October after Mr Justice Aindrias Ó Caoimh completed his second term.

Within the Court of Justice, the highest-paid judges are the president and the vice-president, Koen Lenaerts from Belgium and Antonio Tizzano from Italy. Their basic salary is 138 per cent and 125 per cent of the top civil service rate, more than €314,000 and €284,400 respectively. They are also entitled to higher entertainment allowances – more than €1,400 and month and €900 a month respectively.

The Court of Justice, which should not be confused with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, is based in Luxembourg and is the highest court in the European Union in matters of EU law. The court interprets EU laws and has made numerous landmark judgments. Among the most recent were establishing “the right to be forgotten” in a data-protection case taken against Google and fining Microsoft €860 million for breaching competition rules.

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