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More than 200 judges who challenged against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) over changes to pensions entitlements have won their claim in the Employment Tribunal.
The challenge was brought against changes to the judicial pension scheme on the grounds they were discriminatory on the grounds of age, sex and race.
Leigh Day has been representing the claimant group, with partners Chris Benson and Shubha Banerjee instructing Outer Temple Chambers’ Andrew Short QC and Naomi Ling.
The Lord Chancellor was defended by Government Legal Department solicitor Kam Chopra, who instructed Brick Court’s Martin Chamberlain QC and Old Square Chambers’ Ben Collins.
Six High Court judges mounted the claim plus 204 crown court, district and tribunal judges.
The tribunal found today (16 January) that the MoJ and Lord Chancellor – now Liz Truss – had discriminated against younger judges by requiring them to leave the judicial pension scheme in April 2015, while older judges could remain in it.
Banerjee said in a statement: “This is a great victory for our clients, many of whom sit alongside older judges who were appointed some years after them but who are, in effect, paid more purely because they are older.
“The fact that there is a significant number of female and BME judges in the younger group simply compounds the unfairness of the changes that were made to judicial pensions.
“According to Judicial Office statistics, about one-third of all judges in England and Wales last year were female, and only 7% described themselves as from a black or other minority ethnic background.”
This case featured in The Lawyer’s Top Cases of 2016.
The Top 20 Cases of 2017 was released today.
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