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Court fee hikes subject to Senate Inquiry

Media Release
Penny Wright 27 Feb 2013

The Labor Government's decision to increase federal court fees will be scrutinised by a Senate Inquiry initiated by Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

The Inquiry will examine whether the higher fees will exacerbate the access to justice crisis in Australia.

"Cost is the most common barrier to people seeking legal help," Senator Wright said. "Increasingly, ordinary Australians are being priced out of the court system because they cannot afford legal representation and court fees."

"This Inquiry will examine if the Government's decision to increase federal court fees in 2010 and again at the beginning of this year was a reasonable decision and one based on evidence.

"We also need to ensure federal decisions are not increasing the strain on already stretched legal assistance services.

"Access to justice is the cornerstone of a fair society. This Inquiry is an opportunity to see whether federal court fee increases are getting in the way of making this a reality for all Australians."

Senator Wright's motion to establish the inquiry was passed unanimously by the Senate. The terms of reference can be found here.

 

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