Courts of Justice Fees Bill 2019 Amended

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By Shermain Bique-Charles

The legal system in Antigua and Barbuda will now have greater autonomy. That is because amendments have been made to the Courts of Justice Fees Bill of 2019, which was first passed in 1880.

The amendments will now pave the way for the setting up of a self-funding mechanism for the courts.

As it stands now, stamp duties and other court fees are paid into the Consolidated Fund, but when Finance Minister Gaston Browne introduced the Bill in Parliament, he said that a special fund named “Improvement and Administration Fund” will now be set up for the fees to be paid into.

While he admitted that the fund will not be set up immediately, the monies which will be kept separately from other payments received, will be put to use primarily to improve the system including the training of staff, the purchase of court equipment and to maintain and repair court facilities.

The court can now accept payment by cheque, credit cards, debit cards or any other payments that could be fixed.

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