Westminster Hall Debate – Court Charges

November 17, 2015 at 6:50 pm / by

Tulip Siddiq Criminal Courts Charges

Today in Parliament, I led my first Westminster Hall debate which considered the effects that the criminal courts charge has had on access to justice in the United Kingdom.

The charge has created an incentive for defendants, often in need of state support to survive, to plead guilty when they may in fact be innocent. In 21st century Britain, such miscarriages of justice are unacceptable.

As a means of raising revenue, the charge is also looking like a complete failure. The majority of those subject to it are in no position to pay it back, but also face a prison sentence upon non-payment. The cost of sending people to prison for this could reach £5 million and out of £5 million worth of charges imposed by courts less than £300,000 is estimated to have been collected.

The Government must pursue an immediate review of this intolerable charge.

To watch the debate, click below: