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The cost of justice has just increased – again

ARAG 200x200 [1]In April 2014 court fees for most civil cases were increased to “near recovery” level meaning that the fees payable almost covered the cost of service provision.

In April 2015 the MoJ commenced its consultation on introducing “enhanced fees” for recovery of money and possession claims. Enhanced fees are set so as to deliver court and tribunal services at a profit to the state.

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that the Justice Select Committee is to undertake an inquiry into the effects of the introduction and levels of employment tribunal and civil court fees http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/justice-committee/news-parliament-20151/courts-tribunals-fees-charges-inquiry/ [2], the MoJ has today published its response the consultation on enhanced fees for possession claims and general applications in civil proceedings.

Today’s response document also seeks comment on further proposals for wider increases.

In summary despite 92% of respondents to its consultation being opposed to increasing fees to the levels proposed and just 8% expressing agreement, the Government confirms that proposals

In relation to divorce proceedings fees will be increased from £410 to £510 raising £12m for the treasury. (Original proposal was to increase fees to £750).

In addition to announcing these increases the Government wishes to consult about further opportunities to increase revenue through the operation of court and tribunal services.