ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Judicial Officer Salaries at the ECCC for 2010-11

According to the 2010-2011 budget released by the ECCC, the judicial officers of the tribunal will be earning the following salaries (exclusive of travel allowances) in these two years: 

International Co-Prosecutor -- $373,808 (approx. $186,904 per annum)
National Co-Prosecutor -- $136,104 (approx. $68,052 per annum)
International Co-Investigating Judge -- $373,808 (approx. $186,904 per annum)
National Co-Investigating Judge -- $136,104 (approx. $68,052 per annum)
International Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber -- $373,808 (approx. $186,904 per annum)
National Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber -- $136,104 (approx. $68,052 per annum)
International Judge of the Trial Chamber -- $373,808 (approx. $186,904 per annum)
National Judge of the Trial Chamber -- $136,104 (approx. $68,052 per annum)
International Judge of the Supreme Court Chamber -- $373,808 (approx. $186,904 per annum)
National Judge of the Supreme Court Chamber -- (approx. $68,052 per annum)
It is noteworthy that the above salary scales represent an increase of $25,154 for the international judicial officers (from $129,400 + post adjustment (25% for Cambodia = $32,350) totaling $161,750 to $145,112 + post adjustment ($41,792) totaling $186,904. The ECCC argued that the increase was justified by the fact that the originally planned 3-year duration of the tribunal for which the original salaries were planned had expired and that other ordinary (program, fund, Secretariat, etc) UN employees had received annual increments within the 3-year period which the UN-employed international judicial officers of the ECCC had not (it is interesting why no similar argument was made regarding the salaries of other UN-employed international non-judicial staff of the ECCC who under UN remuneration rules would too have received annual increments; equally, no other officer's position was "upgraded" an entire level (from D-1 to D-2), not a mere step (which is somewhat of a big deal in the UN system, but an entire level), within the same period, and a postulation that the tribunal might lose some or all of its judicial officers ("the revision in the international judges' and prosecutor's salaries. The revision is critical if the ECCC is to avoid potential interruptions in its work as current judges seek more lucrative judicial postings, as well as delays that ensue as replacements are recruited and have to familiarize themselves with the substantive and procedural work of the Court" (S. 19 (c)); one would not mistake the international judicial officers' quest for "more lucrative judicial postings" with that of a more traditional understanding of commitment to international justice in what already was comfortable and dignified conditions of service (most would agree that $161,750 a year buys more than a dignified living in Phnom Penh and an excellent opportunity to build up personal savings; if it is the tribunal's intent to compete with the salaries drawn by senior partners of international law firms, the tribunal will lose out, hard as it might try). 
It is equally important to note that there is no similar salary increase of the national judicial officers. It is interesting for two reasons. On the one hand, regular judicial officer salaries in Cambodia presently stand at between $400-$1,200 (depending on the level of the court, experience, and a number of other contributing factors; these salary scales are current and were confirmed today by a credible and well-placed government source) which brings it to an annual of $4,800-$14,000 considering which $68,052 constitutes quadruple of the highest available judicial salary in the national courts. On the other hand, the salaries of all non-judicial staff have been adjusted to the local salary level of UN agencies (there is one scale which cuts across the board per country) which created a significant increase compared to the 50% (of international salaries) rule of the tribunal. This created administrative salaries for generalists at the level of $5,300 per month or $63,600 per annum (D-1 level) which are only marginally different from the salary of a judicial officer of $68,052 who is expected to be a highly educated and skilled specialist.
Considering that the budget -- commandably so -- was made available for public consumption which is -- or has likely created -- likely to create a public reaction to the emoluments of the judicial officers et al, the per capita income of Cambodia this year (2010) stands at $775 creating an average income of $ 64.58.          


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