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The Judicial Conference of Australia, the national association of judges and magistrates, has today lent its weight to the call for pensions for Federal Circuit Court judges.

“The Federal Circuit Court is a very important court to which Australian citizens come on matters which affect them deeply, such as family and immigration matters. It is vital the very best lawyers are attracted to serve on that court” Justice Beech-Jones explained.

“But the lack of a pension clearly does make it hard to recruit judges to that court” he said.

The JCA agrees with Attorney-General George Brandis who said in a Senate Estimates Committee hearing that the lack of a pension makes it difficult to recruit and retain judges.

If, for example, a judge falls ill, the judge needs to take extended leave rather than retire, as there is otherwise no pension to support the judge. This leaves often extended vacancies in the court, resulting in delays for parties who want their matters resolved.

“The Federal Circuit Court is the only federal court where judges do not receive pensions” Justice Beech-Jones said. If this could be rectified, that court would be able to perform a more effective role in resolving frontline disputes for many ordinary citizens.


The Judicial Conference of Australia is the professional association of judges and magistrates in Australia.

For further information, contact the Judicial Conference of Australia Secretariat.