“We have seen significant increases in court fees and the introduction in April of this year of mandatory fees to be paid by those convicted of crimes,” the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas explained. “Whilst the judiciary has taken the view in modern times that modest fees in civil, family and tribunal cases are permissible and in accordance with the provisions of Magna Carta – and has made powerful submissions about the level of fees – it has left the balance as a matter for parliament to determine. “Nonetheless the scale of court fees, and the cost of legal assistance, is putting access to justice out of the reach of most, imperilling a core principle of Magna Carta. It is something that the judiciary, working with the executive and legislative branches of the state, needs to address.”
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