300% increase to VCAT fees

VCAT fees for most small cases to increase over 300 percent and some much, much more.

The objective is higher cost recovery by increasing fees because there’s some private [versus public] benefit, but not so high that it prevents access to justice for users. The same thing was recently adopted by comparable courts eg Magistrates Court.

Fees increase by 312 percent for 2,500 or 85 percent of all OC matters (more than$10k), by changing them from the ‘community fee’ to be a new ‘Level 3’ fee where the nature of the matter justifies a higher fee.

Fees increase by 1,194 percent for 500 or 15 percent of all OC matters, by reallocating them from the ‘community fee’ to be a new fee for amounts in dispute between $10k-$100k or no monetary value.

The rationale is that OC matters are currently charged the ‘community fee’ but are [along with Domestic Building , Fair Trading]:

  • Increasingly commercial in nature, and/or
  • Involve large claims
  • Usually involve parties with the ability to pay a higher fee and raise questions with a lesser benefit than some other cases as the decision turns on the facts of the case and do not inform a general understanding of the scope of the relevant law
  • Many matters are more costly to run than others for which the community fee is currently also charged

Proposed OC List Fees

                                     

 

Value of cases

    No of Cases 3,000     Current OC List Fees     Proposed OC LIst Fees
(staged over 3 years,
but just showing final year 3)
 
More than $10K 85% $38.80 $160.40
$10K - $100K
or no monetary value sought
15% $38.80 $502.50
$100K - $1 Million
0.1%
$38.80 $1,007.40
More than $1 Million 0% $38.80 $2,014.80


The proposed regulations are due to commence 1 March 2013, and have a 3 year lifespan.

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