23 July 2015
The Commons Select Justice Committee has announced an inquiry into employment tribunal fees.
The statement on the inquiry reads; “Over the course of the last Parliament the coalition Government pursued policies aimed at decreasing the cost of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the public purse, through the introduction of and increases to various fees and charges.
“These included the introduction of fees for employment tribunals, a regime of enhanced fees for civil proceedings, and a mandatory charge imposed on anyone convicted of a criminal offence.
“The Justice Committee has decided to hold an inquiry into the effects of the introduction and levels of these fees and charges.”
The inquiry is independent of the Ministry of Justice’s review into the impact of employment tribunal fees, announced in June.
According to the statement, the committee will cover the following;
- How have the increased court fees and the introduction of employment tribunal fees affected access to justice? How have they affected the volume and quality of cases brought?
- How has the court fees regime affected the competitiveness of the legal services market in England and Wales, particularly in an international context?
- What have been the effects on defendants of the introduction of the criminal courts charge? Has the criminal courts charge been set at a reasonable and proportionate level? Is the imposition and collection of the charge practicable and, if not, how could that be rectified?
The members of the Justice Committee – announced on July 6, are;
Robert Neill (Chair, Conservative), Richard Arkless (Scottish National Party), Richard Burgon (Labour), Alex Chalk (Conservative), Alberto Costa (Conservative), Philip Davies (Conservative), Sue Hayman (Labour), John Howell (Conservative), Victoria Prentis (Conservative), Christina Rees (Labour), Nick Thomas-Symonds (Labour).
The deadline for written submissions is Wednesday 30 September 2015.