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Key developments

  • Statutory Review of the Court Costs Levy imposed by s 211 A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986
  • Crimes Legislation Amendment (Proceeds of Crime and Other Measures) Bill 2015
  • Inquiry into ‘revenge porn’ phenomenon
  • Disrespectful or disruptive behaviour in court – preliminary consultation
  • Bail Practice Note
  • Statutory review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010
  • Review of training for licensed occupations in the NSW property services industry
  • Foreign resident capital gains withholding payments
  • Courts Administration Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Statutory Review of the Court Costs Levy imposed by s 211 A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986

The Criminal Law Committee prepared a submission to the Department of Justice for its statutory review of the court costs levy.

Prior to the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Court Costs Levy) Act 2013, the imposition of court costs was a matter for the Magistrate’s discretion. The legislation now results in the imposition of a costs levy per conviction in each matter, unless an exemption applies.

The submission noted the potential impact on those facing multiple charges, and the potential hardship created by the levy for the most vulnerable in the community, as a large proportion of defendants in the Local Court are socially and economically disadvantaged and have little or no capacity to pay.

The Committee suggested that adult offenders should be entitled to make an application allowing for waiver of the levy on the basis of substantial financial hardship, noting in any event that the administrative costs of collecting the levy from economically disadvantaged offenders is likely to outweigh the revenue collected.

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