Court fees motion fails

A LEGISLATIVE Council motion to block Government plans to increase court fees has been foiled.

The WA Greens sided with Labor upper house members to undermine the Opposition’s motion, even though they had agreed to side with the Liberals.

Opposition legal affairs spokesman Peter Foss said he was disappointed with the outcome of the disallowance motion.

“The Greens had a signed agreement with (Attorney General) Jim McGinty,” Mr Foss said.

Prior to this Legislative Council sitting period Mr Foss had been confident of having the higher court fees disallowed.

In return for blocking the disallowance motion the Greens have been able to get some court fees reduced and drawn a promise from the Government to review the other fees.

Law Society president Clare Thompson said she was pleased with the agreement that had been reached.

“The sorts of concerns we had were with the way the fee increases had been handled,” she said.

“A mechanism for further fee increases has been agreed by the parties.

“They have also agreed to go back and look at the Law Reform Commissions recommendations on the charging of fees in the District and Supreme courts.”

The Government introduced higher court fees on January 1. In some cases the cost of lodging a writ in the Supreme Court has risen from $200 to close to $800.

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