It believes access to justice is on the verge of crisis and that ordinary people are finding it increasingly difficult to access justice. The Law Society considers this to be due to various reasons, including cuts in legal aid funding, closure of courts and changes to the rules regarding recovery of costs.
It also considers that increased court fees are compounding this problem and had called on the government to reduce employment tribunal fees to on the basis that the average costs of £1200 is a month’s salary for many people. Since fees were introduced for employment tribunals, an average of 9000 fewer claims per month were being brought.
However, the government issued a statement earlier this week directly opposing such requests, indicating that it considered the system to be working well, that £9m income was being earned from it and that the fees were indirectly encouraging conciliation. The government will even be increasing the threshold for fee remissions for those on low wages in line with the increase in wages introduced by the living wage.