MOSCOW, December 19 - RAPSI. The Federation Council has approved a law stipulating the increase of wages for judges depending on their qualification class, degree and knowledge of foreign languages. The corresponding amendments have been introduced to the law On the Status of Judges in Russia.

The law states that judges will have different paygrades, and the number of qualification classes will be improved and the procedure for progressing through them improved. Monthly awards are also being introduced, while the number of qualification classes is being expanded from six to ten, including the superior qualification class.

Payment for the ninth class is set at 30 percent of a judge's official salary and payment for the superior class is set at 150 percent.

Apart from the monthly award, judges will also be paid monthly bonuses, and quarterly monetary awards.

A judge aged 60 years or above (55 years for women), with legal experience of no less than 25 years, including a minimum of 10 years of work as judge, has the right to retire and receive full monthly lifetime support.

Deputy Finance Minister Tatyana Nesterenko has said that the average wage of commercial court judges will increase from 132,000 rubles ($4,200) to 150,000 rubles ($4,773), from 115,000 rubles ($3,659) to 132,000 rubles ($4,200) for general jurisdiction court judges, and from 102,000 rubles ($3,425) to 104,000 rubles ($3,310) for district court judges.

The law has been submitted to the president to be signed.