“The current impasse now sees the Judges, who have become frustrated to the breaking point from being ignored by the Government, publicly threatening to take the Government to Court to get what is due to them,” PNP spokesman on Justice and Governance, Mark Golding, said in a statement.
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reported Sunday that judges have written to Prime Minister Andrew Holness demanding immediate action regarding outstanding payments due to them based on a recommendation of the Independent Commission in 2015.
The judges warn that they would take legal action if steps were not taken to implement the agreement and are reportedly put together a team of lawyers to represent their interest.
In the statement, Golding said the government needed to “immediately… finalise the long outstanding package of pay and other benefits owing to the judiciary” in keeping with the recommendations of a December 2015 report of an independent commission set up to review remuneration for judges.
Golding described the current situation as “unprecedented and constitutionally dangerous” saying it is highly undesirable for the judges to be forced to descend into a contentious public quarrel over their emoluments.
“In our constitutional system, the Judicial branch of the State is to remain independent, and stay above the fray. It is highly undesirable for the Judges to be forced to descend into a contentious public quarrel over their emoluments, even having to threaten litigation against the Government,” Golding said.
He said the Judiciary Act was designed to avoid situations like the present by recommending three-yearly updates in the emolument packages for members of the judiciary.
Golding said the situation has been allowed to fester for too long.
- Countries: Jamaica