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February 13, 2015

Judges feel they are subject to too much change and insufficient reward

A fascinating study has been published based on a survey of paid judges at every level.  They are not a happy bunch, and most would not encourage others to become judges.  They feel they are underpaid and disapprove of threats to reduce their pensions.  It is a rich report but I’ll focus on training, since Transform Justice has recently published a report on the training of magistrates.  Like magistrates we surveyed, most were satisfied with the quality of training but they felt they were not allowed enough time to do training and that they didn’t have enough opportunities for personal development. Around half judges in the lower courts and tribunals felt their talents were not used to the full. Views were more divided about the range of training available (63% satisfied, 37% not satisfied) and the sense of achievement in job (62% satisfied, 38% not satisfied).  In many cases District Judges were particularly unsatisfied.  I applaud the judiciary for both doing and publishing the study.  A similar one on the magistracy is crying out to be done.  For my report, a very small scale survey was done, but a proper study like this one would yield much richer data – on expenses, difficulties of combining the magistracy and employment etc.