Criminal Court Charges
A statutory instrument to introduce criminal court charges
was laid before Parliament on 23 March 2015. The
timing meant that there was little or no opportunity for the
Regulations to be debated in Parliament. This absence of sufficient
scrutiny was rightly criticised by the House of Lords Secondary
Legislation Scrutiny Committee in a report published on 9 June
The Bar Council was very concerned that the previous Coalition
Government decided to introduce this proposal without, as far as it
was aware, any formal public consultation. The new Regulations are
problematic for a number of reasons detailed in our parliamentary
The criminal courts charge requires defendants convicted by a
magistrates' court for a summary offence on a guilty plea to be
charged £150. Conviction in the magistrates' court at trial of a
summary offence incur a £520 charge.
Those convicted of an either-way offence at a magistrates'
court trial are charged £1,000.
In the Crown court, a conviction on a guilty plea is
charged at £900, while those convicted at a trial on indictment
will have to pay £1,200.
Magistrates and judges have no discretion over the charges which
must be ordered irrespective of the financial or personal
circumstances of those convicted.