Harmonising fees

09 MAY 2007

David Burrows, Solicitor Advocate. The family proceedings costs regulations were amended as from 2 April 2007 by the Legal Aid in Family Proceedings (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/742) (see Legislation below). The author argues that this was a somewhat naive attempt to reduce pressure on the higher tiers of the courts by treating magistrates and county courts as one and the same for family proceedings and encourage greater use of the magistrates' court. The author's view is that this scheme of producing one combined rate for proceedings in the county and magistrates' courts simply ends up being discriminatory and ineffective, pushing the less well-off, disproportionately women, towards the often slower and possibly lesser standards of justice in the magistrates' courts. It is argued that improvements to procedure would be a far more effective way of economising and improving the costs situation. For the full article see May [2007] Fam Law.

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