Материальное обеспечение судей как гарантия или антигарантия их независимости
Abstract. Exercising its positive obligation to ensure the effective protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens, the rule of law State strives to create favorable conditions for the independent activity of judges. This is what mainly determines their special legal status in democratic societies and various guarantees of such independence. One of such guarantees is the financial and social security of judges, corresponding to their high status. In addition to the size and volume of such security that, as a rule, is the main focus of international and national institutions, the order of their formation and provision plays an important role in achieving the expected result, since it is the precariousness of the provisions regulating them that can not only nullify the guarantee of independence in question, even taking into account the high volume of material security, but also turn it into an instrument of pressure on judges. The paper examines the quality of regulation of the grounds and conditions for providing financial support to judges. Based on the results of the analysis, the author reveals contradictions in the terms used by the legislator, shortcomings in the order of formation of the final monthly remuneration of judges — in terms of structural and subject composition, in the formality and wide discretion of assessments of the compliance of judges with individual payments, as well as in the negative difference between the salaries of judges of different levels that has developed because of this. At the same time, the paper also contains very useful conclusions and recommendations at the end of each of the sections, contributing to the resolution of the shortcomings and problems identified in the paper. The author’s conclusions are mostly based on both international recommendations and a comparative analysis of foreign positive experience, which undoubtedly strengthens the argumentation presented in the paper.