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Personal fees and expenses, Small Claims Court

Comment 21st July 2010

The Small Claims Court system was set up to provide small claimants with the opportunity to claim for monies owed, without recourse to expensive litigation.

Under this system if, and when the litigant is successful the defendant is required to settle the account.

However none of the individual costs for travelling, accommodation, preparation etc are allowed to be awarded against the defendant. Only on behalf of members of the British legal profession, fully accredited, can cost be claimed.

Therefore the claimant is obliged to cover his own costs because of  for the defendant's original omission to pay.

This is of course unfair. Moreover, if the plaintiff chooses to accept, and pay for, legal assistance, these costs are recoverable through the Courts in the event of a successful outcome. This system of course increases the total payment, greatly to the benefit of the legal profession.

Under the various human rights provisions regarding individual freedoms, restrictive trade practices etc I believe that this law in contrary to the forgoing categories and should therefore be amended to allow plaintiffs to be awarded their costs, disbursements and out of pocket expenses, and not to be solely reliant on an intermediary, a solicitor.

John Tunstill

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