Memorandum by the Lord Chancellor's Department
ORDER 2002 (S.I. 2002/2037)
1. The Lord Chancellor's Department submits this
memorandum in response to the request dated 29 October 2002 on
the point set out below:
Explain the reasons for the substantial fee increase
made by this instrument.
2. This Order came into force on 27 August 2002.
It increased the fee for those applying to the Lord Chancellor
to be recommended for appointment as Queen's Counsel in England
and Wales in the current competition from £335 to £720.
The fee had not previously been increased since it was first set
3. The amount of the increase, which is significant,
is intended to capture the full cost to the Lord Chancellor's
Department of considering applications. These costs have increased
since the fee was originally set, as the process of considering
applications has required increased formalisation and additional
staff resources in order to meet the requirements of openness
and accountability. The process is now subject to the scrutiny
of the First Judicial Appointments Commissioner. The basis of
the costing has also been changed to capture more fully the cost
to the taxpayer of running the competition.
4. The power to levy a fee for these purposes was
introduced in section 45 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 explicitly
on the basis that full cost recovery would be sought. The Lord
Chancellor remains of the view that there is no justification
for subsidising the process.
1st November 2002