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Government Consults over Court Fee Changes

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation exercise over proposed changes to the fees charged for bringing a case to court in Scotland.

The Scottish Government explains that court fees are a major source of income for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and it has become necessary to increase fees in order to achieve full cost recovery. It is seeking views on two options, which are:

  • a flat rise, which would involve increasing all fees by the same percentage (24%);
  • or targeted increases, which would increase fees across a number of key fee points.

If the flat rise was the preferred option, a rise of 24% would be applied to each fee charged in the Court of Session and the Sheriff Court. The fees in the Sheriff Appeal Court and the Sheriff Personal Injury Court would also be increased, along with those fees charged in the High Court of Justiciary and the Justice of the Peace Courts.

This option would be a continuation of the approach that has been taken over a number of years with incremental rises to every fee level, says the Government.

Targeted fee increases would involve fees being raised for some of the most common services to help achieve full cost recovery without the requirement to amend all the fees. This would include:

  • increasing selected fees in the Court of Session and the Sheriff Court, whilst avoiding impacting upon small claims and other possible access to justice barriers. It is expected that this would raise approximately £4m;
  • increasing hearing fees in the Court of Session to be a more realistic reflection of the cost of one of the most scarce resources - judicial time.  It is expected that this would raise approximately £1m;
  • and introducing a tiered Commissary fees structure, which is expected to raise approximately £1.6m.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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