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Courts Minister Chester Borrows today released a consultation document on changes to civil fees in courts and tribunals administered by the Ministry of Justice.
“Civil court and tribunal fees need to strike a balance between the public and private benefit of court and tribunal services, to fairly allocate the cost between taxpayers and those using the services. The proposals being consulted on are aimed at delivering a principled, consistent and fair approach to civil court fees,” says Mr Borrows.
Mr Borrows says that internationally there were a variety of charging regimes. Cost recovery across civil jurisdictions is more than 30% in New South Wales and closer to 80% in England and Wales. The proposed changes would increase overall cost recovery from 15% to 20% across civil jurisdictions.
“The last significant review was completed in 2003, and as a result fees across civil jurisdictions have become inconsistent.
“We are striving for a fee structure that is easy to understand, ensures those who benefit from the courts contribute to their costs, and protects access to justice.
“For those people who can’t afford to pay, there is a robust fee waiver system to safeguard access to justice.”
The consultation paper sets out a proposed framework for setting civil fees and changes to existing fees in the District Courts, High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Employment Court, Environment Court, Māori Land Court, Māori Appellate Court and tribunals.
“I welcome feedback from all New Zealanders, not just court users, as this will help shape final proposals for the Government to consider, before implementing any changes,” says Mr Borrows.
The consultation paper can be found at www.justice.govt.nz. Submissions close on 2 November 2012.
Attached: Civil fees review consultation paper
Civil_fees review_consultation_paper.pdf (pdf 819.05 KB)