The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Me Jealous? Never!

The Judicial Salary Structure is now available on the DCA website (figures at 1 Nov. 2006).

Examples are:

Lord Chief Justice: £225,000
Lords Justices of Appeal: £164,400
High Court Judges: £162,000
Circuit Judges: £120,300
Senior District Judge (aka Chief Magistrate) £129,900
District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) £96,500
Justices of the Peace: Unpaid

This isn't a grumble or an appeal to be paid. I knew the terms when I applied for the job, and to move towards paying JPs would change the character of the bench, not for the better.

I list these just to show how modest the pay of our top judges is, both by comparison with executives in private industry, and especially with lawyers in private practice.

For a senior QC to give up practice and go on to the Bench may involve a salary cut of up to 70%. Of course they won't starve, but nevertheless they aren't in it for the money.


I have been taken to task for seeming to suggest that a hundred grand a year isn't a lot of money. Of course it is, given a national average for those in work nearer to £24,000. But read what I said again. Pay for senior executives in business has soared to enormous levels in recent years, and a million-plus is now commonplace in the boardroom. Senior barristers and solicitors, who are the cadre from which many judges are appointed commonly earn many hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. Those who instruct and pay them presumably think that they are worth it. Those who join the Bench will receive much satisfaction, and even the chance of a handle to their name, but the money will still be way below what they could get elsewhere.