Access to Justice Threat From Increased Court Fees

Access to Justice Threat From Increased Court Fees

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has warned the Ministry of Justice that enhanced fees for general applications would impede access to justice for injured people, and adversely affect the administration of justice.

Following the Government's recent announcement that it will increase issue fees above full cost, the latest consultation proposes that fees for general applications in civil proceedings should be increased. The fees would rise from £50 to £100 for an application without notice or by consent, and from £155 to £255 for an application on notice which is contested.

In its response, APIL stressed that if the proposed fees for general applications were implemented, access to justice for the injured person will be impeded. Increased fees would hinder firms' abilities to take on cases, restricting the injured person's choice of solicitor. Furthermore, applications play an important part in the proper and proportionate administration of justice. The purpose of many applications is to draw the court's attention to a party in default of an order requiring them to take a positive step to advance the case - for example, to provide disclosure of documents or exchange witness statements. Increasing the cost of application fees may act as a disincentive to bringing a party's default to the attention of the court.

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