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LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE—REFERENCE

Senator Wright amended business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 6 June 2013:

The impact of federal court fee increases since 2010 on access to justice in Australia, with particular reference to:

 (a) the impact of federal court fee increases on low-income and ordinary Australians and operators of small businesses;

 (b) whether these fee increases are reasonable, based on evidence and consistent with other justice policy matters;

 (c) how increases in court fees, and other reforms to the courts and justice system, can act as a barrier to accessing justice;

 (d) the extent to which court fee increases may impact on services provided by legal assistance services (i.e. legal aid commissions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services, family violence prevention legal services and community legal services);

 (e) the degree to which the fee changes reflect the capacity of different types of litigants to pay;

 (f) the application of the revenue that has been raised by federal court fee increases; and

 (g) other relevant matters.

Question put and passed.