The New South Wales Bar Association has welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment today to raise the maximum statutory judicial retirement age from 72 to 75. In a statement, attached here, President Arthur Moses SC said ‘The Association initiated this reform because it formed the view that there were compelling reasons in favour of increasing the retirement age for judicial officers serving in NSW’.
‘We support judges and magistrates being able to serve on the bench of NSW courts until the age of 75 and await further details of the proposed legislation with interest,’ he said.
The Attorney General announced today that new legislation to change the judicial retirement age will be introduced into Parliament in the coming weeks. The Attorney General also announced that under the changes proposed, judges appointed after the new legislation commences will be able to access their pension at the age of 65, rather than 60.
‘The Association recommended increasing the pension age to 65 in order to better align the judicial pension with the pension schemes of other members of the Australian community. This increase will also ensure the judicial pension scheme remains sustainable and realise significant cost savings for the Justice portfolio, which could fund other policy areas that have been ignored and are in need of resourcing, including legal aid,’ said Mr Moses SC.
‘While the Association welcomes these changes in principle, any legislative reform in this space must be prospective, not retrospective, to maintain the independence of the bench, including the appearance of the independence of the judiciary which is fundamental to the rule of law,’ Mr Moses SC said.