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Bar Association wants judges' pensions pegged to salaries of serving ones

Published:Monday | January 4, 2016 | 9:31 AM
Jamaican Bar Association head Donovan Walker.

The Jamaican Bar Association (JBA) is suggesting that the government peg the pension of retired judges to the salaries of their serving colleagues, similar to the arrangements for prime ministers and governors general. 

JBA head Donovan Walker, argues that currently, retired judges abide by the convention of not returning to legal practice after their retirement. 

He adds that as a result, judges end up facing hard socio-economic times, which turns-off some future judges and force serving ones to leave Jamaica. 

Walker says the government needs to find a way to improve the system and extending the privilege given to prime ministers and governors general would be a good step. 


President of the Jamaica Bar Association, Donovan Walker

The bar association head says the only lucrative opportunity after retirement for judges is being called upon by government to serve on tribunals or commissions of enquiry.

However, he says those events are rare and few judges get selected.

Last November, retired Justice Panton lashed the government over the situation, saying the pensions of some retired judges can only pay their light bills.

He also noted that more than 20 years ago, there was a proposal for the conditions of service and emoluments for retired judges to be linked to the salaries of serving judges.