LCA: Review Judges' pension laws to avoid potential discrimination

The Law Council of Australia said it 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 is calling on the Federal Government to address this problem in a timely manner," Mr Corcoran concluded.

20 October, 2009

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