Address Judges' Pension Laws To Avoid Potential Discrimination

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15th October 2009, 06:24pm - Views: 454

Media Release

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19 Torrens St Braddon

ACT 1612 || GPO Box 1989

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone +61 2 6246 3788

Facsimilie +61 2 6248 0639


15 October 2009

Address Judges’ Pension Laws to Avoid

Potential Discrimination 

The Law Council of Australia is concerned that current laws regarding

judges’ pensions have the potential to discriminate against the former

spouses of judicial officers.

Law Council President John Corcoran

said, “The operation of the

Judges’ Pension Act in divorce proceedings is inconsistent with the Sex

Discrimination Act

and, according to Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Elizabeth Broderick, may also violate the United Nations’ Convention on

Elimination of Discrimination against Women.” 

“What the Act means for the ex-spouse of a judge does not accord with

modern conceptions of superannuation law. Under the current

legislation, the spouse of a former judicial officer is

only entitled to a

percentage of the member’s actual pension payments, rather than their

own separate fund over which they have control,” Mr Corcoran said.

This has a number of negative implications for the former spouse of a

judicial officer. 

“The Law Council understands that very few superannuation schemes

continue to operate in this manner,” Mr Corcoran said.

“In general, we believe that any superannuation schemes that have the

potential to discriminate against either party

must be closely examined

and the problem urgently addressed,” he said.

“The Law Council is calling on the Federal Government to address this

problem in a timely manner,” Mr Corcoran concluded.

Media Contact:

Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3716 || M. 0419 269 855

The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal

profession at the national level, to speak on behalf of its

constituent bodies on national issues, and to promote the

administration of justice, access to justice and general

improvement of the law.

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