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Government wants criminals to pay towards cost of trials

09 Apr 2013

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has announced plans for convicted criminals in future to pay the costs of their own trials. The intention is that the costs of being brought to court will be paid out of their future earnings thus saving money for the taxpayer. It is estimated that with nearly 1.5 million defendants passing through the justice system every year, with 114,00 being tried at Crown Court. The result is that criminal trials this year could cost as much as £665.5m.

Offenders can already be ordered to make payments to victims, the courts and the Government through a range of orders or fines, but they are not asked to contribute to the cost of putting them on trial. These plans are set to change that.

Mr Grayling said:

“Why should the law-abiding, hard-working majority pay for a court service for the minority who break the law?”

“Those who live outside the law should pay the consequences, both through being punished and bearing more of the costs they impose on society. That is why we are exploring ways to make criminals pay towards the cost of their prosecution to the court.”

The announcement forms part of the Governments plans to launch a consultation aimed at tackling what is described as the soaring cost of criminal legal aid.

If you are concerned about the issues raised in this announcement, or if there are other legal issues you wish to seek advice about, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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