Tasmanian Supreme Court Justice’s scathing response to “user-pay” system in Courts.

Monday , 9, November 2015 Leave a comment

Justice Estcourt from Tasmanian launched a scathing attack against recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s Access to Justice Report allowing courts and tribunals to recover full costs.

Justice Stephen Estcourt said the so-called ‘user-pays’ model recommendation had largely gone under the radar and shouldn’t have.

Justice Estcourt said: “In my view they represent the single greatest threat to access to justice, and consequently to the rule of law, that I have witnessed in my professional lifetime.

“User-pays policies treat justice as a service that can be bought rather than as a public good provided by the judicial arm of government.”

According to Justice Estcourt cost-recovery principles ignored “the fundamental and essential function of courts in dispensing justice in a modern, democratic society”.

ALA Tasmanian president Henry Pill said: “We know that the people who use courts the most are vulnerable people, including young people, people with mental health problems and victims of abuse or violence.

“Placing further fees on these people is unfair, they need more access to justice, not less.”

According to Mr Pill courts are “an essential part of our society and to tax people to use them is an unjust punishment”.

Full Story : Lawyers Weekly

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