I suspect I am not alone among litigators in being infuriated by Dominic Raab’s comments about civil litigants being required to contribute to the cost of the courts service, given that the state makes a large profit out of running the civil litigation court system (now in the order of £100m a year). In fact, far from merely ‘contributing’ to the court, it should be acknowledged that court fees are actually being used as a hidden tax, allowing the government to fund the criminal courts largely out of civil court fee profits.
This is accompanied not only by the complained-of withdrawal of legal aid support for impecunious litigants, but also an increasingly poor service from the civil court system. It is now impossible to speak to anybody in the administration who has access to the court file. We are supposed to speak (after a very long wait) to a remote call centre; or we have to write to the appallingly slow and incompetent administration in Salford.
In the meanwhile, Raab should know his deceitfulness has been rumbled. We expect actual reform rather than dishonest commentary.
R C W Tilbrook, Tilbrook’s Solicitors, Ongar, Essex