Memo on judges' pay removed from website

 

THE COURTS Service has taken down from its website a document criticising the Government’s plan for a referendum on judges’ pay.

It is understood the website had an unprecedented number of hits over the weekend since the memorandum was put up last Thursday, provoking an angry response on Friday from Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, who asked an official to seek its removal.

The Courts Service subsequently informed the Department of Justice that it would be taken down early this week.

It had been put on the website after Attorney General Máire Whelan advised the document could be released to the public.

When contacted by department official on Friday, the Courts Service, an independent statutory body, said the memo would remain up until the beginning of this week. The official was also told it had been put on the website to make it available to the public and in particular the media, which had sought it from the service.

This followed the publication of excerpts of the memorandum in the Sunday Business Post and The Irish Times earlier in the week.

The memo by senior judges claims the proposed constitutional amendment on judges’ pay “would compromise the substance of judicial independence” and could have serious implications for Ireland’s international reputation.

The memorandum can now be seen on irishtimes.com