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Courts Act 2003

Fees, costs and fines


221.These sections and attendant schedules, coupled with the creation of fines officers in section 36, are intended to improve the effectiveness of fine enforcement. Further background can be found at paragraphs 33-36. The Act introduces (section 97 and Schedules 5 and 6) a range of new powers to improve the effectiveness of fine enforcement.

222.At present, performance in enforcing payment of fines is poor. Much of the work involved in enforcing fines is reserved to magistrates, including tasks that are essentially administrative in nature. The range of incentives and sanctions available to the courts is limited.  Courts are constrained by legislation in the approach they can take to enforcing payment of fines and other financial penalties imposed after criminal proceedings.

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