SA judges get $1000/year home security grant

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Judges in South Australia have a new $1000 per year allowance to beef up home security after the homes of two peers were targeted by criminals.
 
According to recent reports in the media, the allowance will be given to the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice and judges; the District Court’s Chief Judge, judges and masters; the Chief Magistrate and magistrates; the Coroner and Deputy Coroner; the Environment, Resources and Development Court commissioners; and the President, Deputy President and Commissioners of the Industrial Relations Commission.
 
The Remuneration Tribunal, an independent body which granted the allowance that started July 1, said there is a “substantive level of risk to the personal safety of judicial officers.”
 
The Judicial Remuneration Coordinating Committee supported by Premier Jay Wheatherill applied for the grant for judicial officials.
 
In February, Cecil Spencer Wilson was sentenced to serve a previously-suspended 17-month prison term in addition to a total head sentence of two years, eight months and three weeks, with a non-parole period of 17 months.
 
Wilson broke in through the front door of the North Adelaide home of District Court judge Rauf Soulio in June 2015 and stole jewellery, electronics and documents.
 
Meanwhile, two prisoners were acquitted in August last year for plotting to murder married District Court judges Paul Rice and Rosemary Davey.
 
It was alleged that Frederick Bernard Walkuski and Hendrik Gysbertus Van Schaik planned to kill the judges by firebombing their home. Judge Rice had sentenced Walkuski to 17 years in prison in 2009.
 
In its decision to grant the stipend, the Tribunal said that judicial officials work not only from their offices now.
 
“In the early 21st Century, what might comprise the place of employment has attracted a broader perception than simply a workshop, office, construction site or other similar geographically defined location,” it said.
 
“With growth of the service economy and contemporary employment practices, such as working from home and more mobile employment activity, the law has grown to accommodate a more expansive conception of where work is performed,” it added.
 
“Prevalent use of information technology and remote access has become a feature of judicial officers’ employment,” the Tribunal continued. “Judicial officers frequently, if not consistently, perform their duties not only at the court buildings and their chambers, but are commonly required to work from home.”
 

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