A Government initiated fund based on the "STUDENT LOANS" model to be made available to support all convicted individuals unable to pay expences and/or fines enforced by a court of law. The fund would subsequently claw back the loan in exactly the same way as a student loan and would  involve a similar rate of interest on the outstanding amount.

The fund should be available for an individual to claim up to three separate loans. A fourth loan should only be allowed when all previous loans have been repaid.

For all individuals loans should remain payable after bankrupcy so that a loan of this kind could only lapse on death of the individual.

Why is this idea important?

The scheme would ensure individuals could not avoid responsibility for paying their dues to society and to it's courts. A loan would remain with an individual until it was paid off including all outstanding interest. The loan would constantly remind the individual of the offence that was committed and would ensure that, even in the long term, fines and costs could not be avoided ot evaded.

The fund would reduce the number of individuals returning to courts when fines were not paid because the payment guarantees would be transferred and then devolved to the national systems used to operate and collect Student Loan repayments. In this instance however the repayment threshold that is applied should be lower than that used for student loans. It should, perhaps, be related and permanently linked to a threshold used elsewhere to assess low incomes and allowing access to associated Government benefit schemes.

The existence of a fund would allow Magistrates and Judges to select a fine and/or award costs to individuals who might have been sent to prison previously.

If a scheme of this type were demonstrated to be practicable it would be possible to extend it in the future to cover other citizen responsibility issues though this may involve the introduction of new laws or the amendment of existing laws.

Examples:

1) Court costs could be extended in the future to include the notional or the actual cost of police and other law enforcement agencies time needed to bring the individual to justice.

2) A court might choose to award costs directly to other parties involved e.g. Councils to repair or replace damaged items or for specialist cleaning caused during a drunken excess or act of vandalism.

3) The NHS is free to all but the existence of this fund would allow a person responsible in law for causing a traffic accident, say by driving under the influence of drink or drugs, to be personally responsible for all medical bills arising from their action. i.e. their own medical care (including ambulance, paramedics and hospital) plus the medical care of every other person involved in the accident to whom a judge has made an award.

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