Report No. 189
Can Court Fee Be Enhanced to Recover Cost of Administration of Justice? (Views of Commissions, Committees, Courts Etc.)
In this chapter we grapple with the central issue posed for our consideration: Given the existing costs of administration of justice, civil and criminal, is it advisable to revise upwards the existing court fee? But we find that such a question perhaps obfuscates several other supplementary questions that arise. Thus we propose to approach the question posed by raising and attempting to answer the following questions:
(a) Is court fee a fee or a tax? The answer to this will shape the approach to the principal question whether court fees can and should be enhanced to meet the costs of administration of justice.
(b) Can access to justice be for a price?
(c) Does the issue require a different treatment in the context of administration of criminal justice?
(d) Does collection of court fee impede access to civil justice?
(e) Is it fair on the part of State to charge Court fee?
(f) Is there a need for governments providing more money for the better administration of justice?
(g) Does the suggestion already made for total abolition of court fees merit acceptance?