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Courts Act 2003

Fees, costs and fines

Section 92: Fees

239.The Lord Chancellor is provided with a single power, with Treasury consent, to prescribe the fees payable in the Supreme Court, county courts and magistrates’ courts. He may set different scales or rates of fees and may provide for exemptions, reductions or remissions of fees. The Lord Chancellor will consult the most senior judiciary in relation to any proposed fees order, as well as the Civil Justice Council for civil proceedings only. The Lord Chancellor is placed under a duty to provide appropriate information on fees to those who might have to pay them. It is intended to use a variety of methods of displaying and disseminating this information. In cases of default, fees in the Supreme Court, county courts and magistrates’ courts may be recovered summarily as a civil debt by the court. Unlike fees orders under the current legislation which are simply laid before Parliament, any order made under this section will be subject to the negative resolution procedure. By virtue of subsection (3) the Lord Chancellor must have regard to the principle that access to the courts must not be denied.

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