50. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will address the disparity that exists between the pay of judicial assistants and researchers employed in the Office of the Attorney General, the DPP and the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37874/16]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that the Judicial Assistant grade was introduced to support all new Judges appointed after 1 January 2012. The grade is specific to the Courts Service. The salary scale for Judicial Assistant is set by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and was based on the salary for the grade of Temporary Research Assistant, a grade that has been in the Courts Service since its establishment in 1999.
The Courts Service has advised me that the salary scale for Judicial Assistant is lower than that of Legal Researcher employed in the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions and the Houses of the Oireachtas and I understand that the Courts Service is proposing to make a submission shortly to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in this matter.