‘Judge’s salary will not increase with adoption of bill’

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During its plenary session on January 14, Parliament discussed a draft revision of the Law on Courts of Mongolia.

Lawmaker D.Togtokhsuren said, “We have amended the Constitution to include issues related to the independence of the judiciary. The bill on courts was drafted in accordance with the amendments to the Constitution. Today, the Law on Courts clarifies how to make the judiciary independent and how to hold judges accountable.”

During the meeting, lawmakers supported to add Article 112 on expert opinion and change articles 113 through to 120 on registration, report and transparency of judicial disciplinary cases.

Parliament supported Article 8, which stipulates, “Parliament shall select and appoint non-judge members of the Judiciary General Council and the Judicial Disciplinary Committee within 120 days from the date of entry into force of the Law on Courts of Mongolia (revised version)”.

During the meeting, lawmaker T.Aubakyer asked whether an issue of judges' salaries remained.

In response, Parliamentarian S.Byambatsogt said, “There are additional salary of ranks, emergency and years of service. The working group removed additional salary of rank from the bill. The standing committee approved a provision to increase the years of service and emergency allowances from 25 percent to 40 percent. At present, judges of primary courts receive about 2.2 million MNT, appellate judges about 3 million MNT, and judges of the higher and supervisory instances about 4 million MNT. However, people think that judges receive a very high salary of 7 million to 8 million MNT.”

Speaker of Parliament G.Zandanshatar noted that the longest-serving judge, who has worked for 32 years, receives a base salary of 4.2 million MNT and an additional salary of 1 million MNT.

Lawmaker J.Ganbaatar said, “Talking too much about salaries and appointments is holding back the purpose of the law. The judiciary is a secondary government. In this regard, the Judicial Disciplinary Committee will be established. The public expects the law to make the judiciary independent and transparent.”

Noting that a judge must be financially independent, S.Byambatsogt said, “Members criticized the 80 percent pension for judges. The additional salary of rank was removed by the working group. Provisions related to pensions will follow the basic principles. With the adoption of the draft revision of the Law on Courts, judges' salaries will not increase. The old salary amount applies.”

Misheel Lkhasuren