Page last updated at 03:02 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 04:02 UK

Police pay High Court ruling due

Police officers on a protest march
Police officers have marched in protest at their pay deal

The High Court is set to rule on a claim by police that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully when she refused to pay their 2.5% pay award in full.

Jacqui Smith did not backdate the rise in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to September 2007 - which effectively reduced its worth to 1.9%.

The case, brought by the Police Federation, accused her of approaching the issue "with a closed mind".

But Home Office lawyers said the government had acted within its powers.

Federation lawyers said Ms Smith was complying with a "Treasury diktat" by making the decision - which they said would result in a 200 loss in average pay in the current pay year.

'Impact on morale'

More important was the impact on the "morale and confidence of the police in the statutory procedures for determining their pay," they told the hearing in April.

Lord Justice Keene and Mr Justice Treacy heard them argue that Ms Smith failed to recognise the special and unique position of the police and the restrictions on their freedom of action, including the right to strike.

The judicial review application was brought by Police Federation general secretary John Francis and the Staff Side of the Police Negotiating Board.

They said members of police forces around the country had a "legitimate expectation" that they would receive the full 2.5% increase recommended by the Police Appeal Tribunal (PAT).

The Home Office lawyers argued that the government had repeatedly made its position clear and acted within its powers.

The situation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is in contrast to that in Scotland, where officers have received the back-dated pay rise in full.

Q&A: Police pay dispute
21 May 08 |  UK
Cross-border split on police pay
06 Dec 07 |  Scotland

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