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Losing fundamental principles of the law: Court fee hikes

An agile approach to circumventing the increase in fees is needed to maintain access to justice, writes Leigh Callaway

28 July 2015

The principle of access
to justice forms the cornerstone of the English legal system. Of course, it must be accepted that access comes at a cost; the court
needs to be properly funded, and solicitors should be remunerated for their work. However, in the current drive for austerity there is an increasing risk that this fundamental principle is
being lost.

The staggering increase in court fees earlier this year has been discussed at length by legal commentators, but it is worth reiterating that the increase in fees (of over 500 per cent in some cases) remains, as put by the Civil Justice Committee, 'a matter of grave concern' with 'potentially far-reaching and damaging consequences for access to justice'. Notwithstanding the objections of a number of august bodies, including the Lord Chief Justice, the Civil Justice Council, and the Bar Council, the government remains steadfast in its beli...

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