District Court judge claimed €82,000 in expenses

One district court judge claimed (and was paid) €82,240 last year. Of this, €25,958 was for travel expenses, and €56,282 for subsistence expenses. Unlike other judges, this judge claimed nothing for judicial attire. The identity of the judge has not been disclosed by the courts service. A total of €2.3 million in expenses was claimed by judges in 2007.

District Court judges claimed the most expenses with a total of 56 judges claiming €1.3 million (over €23,000 each on average). The 33 Circuit Court judges claimed €845,644 (€25,625 on average). The District Court and Circuit Court sit in disparate venues around the country, which explains why judges for those courts have larger expenses than High Court and Supreme Court judges. The eight Supreme Court judges claimed €11,701 and the 32 High Court judges claimed €133,992.

This information was released to Village by the Courts Service as part of a Freedom of Information request. Of the 145 judges, 128 claimed expenses for 2007. €1.4 million was claimed for subsistence; €813,532 for travel.  Judges claimed €80,786 for judicial attire and incidental expenses. District Court judges receive an annual salary of €144,352; Circuit Court judges €173,223; High Court judges €237,151 and Supreme Court judges €251,582.

The Chief Justice, Presidents of the High Court, Circuit Court and District Court earn slightly more than the basic salary.

As well as their salaries and expenses claims, the Chief Justice and the President of the High Court are assigned Garda drivers. All Supreme Court judges and presidents of the High Court, Circuit Court and District Court have personal secretaries. Judges of the Circuit, Supreme and High Courts are assisted by ushers or criers — effectively they are personal assistants. Judges may access nine researchers and avail of a secretarial unit.