Criminal courts charge

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The Justice secretary, Michael Gove has today announced that the criminal courts charge will be abolished.

In a statement released today he has recognised that the charge is complex and confusing.

Since April of this year magistrates and judges have had the power to impose the mandatory charge of up to £1200 on those convicted of offences in addition to fines and compensation orders.

Magistrates, judges, solicitors and barristers have all expressed dismay at the charge since it was brought in and many believe that defendants who are innocent have been pressured into pleading in order to avoid court fees.

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