Judges Get Pay Raise Due to Pressure Skip to content

Judges Get Pay Raise Due to Pressure

By Iceland Review

The Wage Council has decided that judges of the Supreme Court and Reykjavík District Council should receive a temporary salary increase throughout January 31, 2013, because of additional pressure on the courts.

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The Supreme Court of Iceland. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

The pay raise will be retroactive to February 1, 2011, and will amount to approximately ISK 101,000 (USD 859, EUR 632) per month, Morgunbladid reports.

“The Wage Council believes it is right to react to the heavy workload on the judges of the Reykjavík District Court and the Supreme Court, which is the result of complicated and extensive cases tracing back to the economic collapse,” the Wage Council’s argumentation states.

Two members of the council, Rannveig Sigurdardóttir and Svanhildur Kaaber, disagree with the majority and handed in a special evaluation.

They pointed out that because of new legislation, the number of judges of the District Court will increase by five as of March 1 and by three at the Supreme Court. It is also planned to hire more assistants and secretaries for the judges. They reason that because of these plans the increased workload is already being responded to.

Jónas Thór Gudmundsson, another member of the council, also handed in a special evaluation saying that he supports the majority’s decision but wants all district judges across the country to receive a pay raise and for it to be permanent.

Judges, as with other high-ranking officials, were faced with a drop in wages after legislation was passed in the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, in late 2008 and 2009, stating that their salaries should be lowered by five to 15 percent. The purpose was to make sure that no employee of the state earned more than the prime minister.

According to the legislation, the Wage Council couldn’t increase its subjects’ salaries until after the end of November 2010. Now the Wage Council’s hands are no longer tied.

Click here to read more about the policy that no state employee should earn more than the PM.

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