The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has opened a consultation on its proposals to increase 202 fees by 10%, for litigants to make use of the services of HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).
The rationale is to strike a balance between funding HMCTS' services via taxpayer revenue and via user fees. In 2022-23, of the total £2.3 billion it cost to run HMCTS, £727 million of that figure was generated by court fees. The fee increases are expected to generate an additional £34 million to £42 million per year.
The increases, if implemented, will affect fees across the Civil, Family and Criminal jurisdictions, applying to fees in the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Court, Family Court, Magistrates' Court and beyond.
For instance, the fee for a general on-notice Civil application is expected to rise from £275 to £303.
Under the proposals, a claim for possession in the County Court shall attract a fee of £391 (an increase of £36), whilst in the High Court the fee will be £528. An action for 'any other remedy' shall incur a fee of £365 and £626 in the County Court and High Court respectively.
In addition, the MoJ consultation seeks respondents' views about raising fees on a routine basis every 2 years, in line with inflation and changes in the costs of running HMCTS.
Views are invited from any interested persons, via either email or post.
email@example.com is the email address for responses, and the postal address is:
Fees Policy Team
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9AJ
The closing date for responses is 22 December 2023.