Court fees to increase
In the wake of funding reforms and cost budgeting apparently intended (notwithstanding the additional complexity and burden on practitioners) to control the costs of civil litigation, the MOJ has announded that court fees will increase.
There will be very significant increases in many instances (e.g. the court fee to issue money claims between £5,000 and £15,000 will increase by a staggering 86% from £245 to £455) under reforms due to come into force on 22 April.
The reason for the incease? The government does not believe that the taxpayer should be subsidising the courts. As justice minister Shailesh Vara puts it in the forward to the proposal :
“No one could seriously argue that it is right for the taxpayer to continue to subsidise those who use the courts, by underwriting, year after year, unplanned deficits in court income.”
…other than perhaps those who would argue that the ability of an inidividual, regardless of financial wealth, to access the justice system is something which is fundamental for a fair society.