The Bar Counsel have called upon The Ministry of Justice to end “shot in the dark approach to court fees”. In a response to a report on court and tribunal fees by the House of Commons Justice Select Committee Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC has said that the report shows that a new introduction of fees has led to a sudden drop in employment tribunal cases and is further evidence that fees are acting as a deterrent to those seeking justice.
The Bar Counsel which represents barristers in England & Wales and promotes the Bar’s high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services, fair access to justice for all and the highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession.
We reported last month on legal aid funding in criminal cases having an impact on defendant appearing unrepresented in the criminal courts, it seems that the bar is now critical of the MoJ in relation to civil cases saying; “Ministry of Justice’s evidence base for the charges was flimsy, and insufficient time was allowed to assess the impact of other, concurrent changes in the civil justice system. The reality is that employees, small businesses and others who may have a legitimate claim are being denied the chance to pursue it because of fees which they cannot afford.
It also calls upon them to hold off in its latest plans in Immigration & Asylum Tribunals by increasing fees by 500% which they say will restrict access and that many are being “priced out” of our world renowned justice system which is recognised overseas as the worlds best and one which should provide justice for all.
Read the press release from the Bar Council here
Read the Commons Select Committee Report Here