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33 per cent drop in judicial costs over past four years

The costs of transport, accommodation and judicial attire has dropped in recent years – even as the number of judges in the country has risen.

Image: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AP/Press Association Images

THE COST OF transport, accommodation and attire for judges has dropped in recent years, even as the number of judges and court sittings have increased.

Newly released figures show that Ireland’s judges claimed €1.6 million in expenses last year – a drop of one third when compared with four years previously.

There has also been a 40 per cent increase in court business in the past four years, according to figures released by the Court Service. The number of judges in the country has increased from 131 in 2006 to 146 last year.

A spokesman for the Court Service said that the cost of judicial attire – which is required by the rules of court – has dropped by almost 50 per cent to €41,000 since 2007. “This figure is set to drop further in coming years as the requirement for judges to wear ceremonial wigs has been removed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the cost of judges’ accommodation and subsistence shows a saving of over 44 per cent since 2008, and the cost of transport saw a reduction of almost 17 per cent over figures from five years ago.

The figures show that 64 District Court judges claimed a total of €955,889 in 2011 and 38 Circuit Court judges received €551,724, while 36 High Court judges claimed €119,550 and eight Supreme Court judges claimed €9,766.

While the figures do not identity judges by name, it revealed that the highest claim made by an individual judge was €50,000.

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