Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 10th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 09th DECEMBER, 2013
Judges of the Supreme Court are set to
get a substantial increase in their take-
home package, which includes a hefty
increase in their housing allowance and
money to travel overseas for judicial con-
ferences, top judicial sources have dis-
The latest recommendations of Salaries
Review Commission (SRC) also were dis-
cussed at yesterday s meeting among judges
at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain.
Top legal sources said the SRC has rec-
ommended substantial increases to the
salary, housing allowance, travel grant and
judicial contact allowance for Chief Justice,
Justices of Appeal and High Court judges.
The 98th report of the SRC was scheduled
to be laid in the House of Representatives
last Friday but has been deferred to this
Friday, sources said. The Chief Justice,
according to sources, is set to receive a total
increase of over $20,000. He currently earns
over $60,000 tax free.
Appeal Court judges are set to receive an
almost $22,000 increase, moving from an
almost $48,000 monthly earning, while
High Court judges are to receive a similar
increase, judicial sources said.
Among the big changes, sources said, was
an increase in the $10,300 housing allowance
for Appeal Court and High Court judges,
which is set to move to $24,000.
Judges of the Supreme Court have long
contended that they are entitled to a "super
grade" housing allowance.
They had argued that in the past judges
were allotted houses in Federation Park,
Port-of-Spain, under the then People s
National Movement administration, as part
of their terms and conditions.
However, under the National Alliance for
Reconstruction reign in the 1980s, those
judges who then occupied houses at Fed-
eration Park were given the option to pur-
chase the houses while new judges were
given a housing allowance.
Judicial sources said given the precedent
where once something was given to Supreme
Court judges it could not be taken away, as
it would seem to be undermining the inde-
pendence of their office, judges had come
together to raise funds to seek a legal opinion
from a British Queen s Counsel on the issue
of them being paid a housing allowance
that would afford them to occupy "super
That opinion, together with the legal
opinion from a local Senior Counsel, con-
cluded that judges were entitled to such an
allowance and the judges at one point even
contemplated taking legal action to get it,
judicial sources said.
The State had maintained a fully furnished
official residence at St Clair for the Chief
Justice, the nation s third highest office
holder but that house was sold in December
1997 for just over $7 million.
Since then, the State has rented private
accommodation for the sitting Chief Justice
at Goodwood Gardens, Glencoe, for a
monthly rent of close to $60,000.
One of the largest increases judges are
set to receive, sources said, was an allowance
to attend overseas conferences.
That figure is set to jump from just under
$10,000 to close to $120,000 a year.
From Page A1
Archie s conspiracy claim mirrors the view
of Sunday Guardian columnist Maxie Cuffie
and former attorney general Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj, who both pointed fingers
at the Executive as being behind a plot to
remove the Chief Justice from office.
Cuffie stated on Sunday that it was clear
to him "the government was attempting to
apply pressure through a media campaign
led by its proxies aimed at forcing him
Maharaj, in an
Friday, said: "I
don t like the
smell of this
Chief Justice for
delays in judg-
ments. It smells
of a political conspiracy to get rid of him."
At the meeting, judges agreed to deliver
judgments in a more timely manner, sources
Pitman's and Wilson's cases
Pitman was convicted in 2004 of the Cas-
cade triple murders. John Cropper, 59; his
mother-in-law Maggie Lee, 68; and sister-
in-law Lynette Lithgow-Pearson, 57, were
found dead by police on December 13, 2001
and the Appeal Court reserved its decision
in March 2010.
Wilson was sentenced to hang in 2001 for
the murder of pensioner Esther Mae Vidale,
77, and the Appeal Court reserved its decision
in his case in November 2009.
The Appeal Court intends to hand down
its decisions in the Pitman and Wilson cases
Four-years-old Bokamoso warms her hands over candles placed between flowers in a memorial created outside of the house of
former South African president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, yesterday. Scores of heads of state and government and other
foreign dignitaries, including royalty, yesterday began to converge in South Africa for today's national memorial service for Mandela.
New perks for judges
Pressure on CJ
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