Suitors' Fund Amendment (Costs of NCAT Appeals) Bill 2016
6th April 2017
Mr GREG PIPE R ( Lake Macquarie ) ( 12:08 :26 ): I refer to the Suitors' Fund Amendment (Costs of NCAT Appeals) Bill 2016 introduced by the member for Liverpool. It is quite clear from the overview of the bill that it is somewhat complicated, but the principles being applied certainly are not. This is about making the use of the law equitable. I am aware that the people who make best use of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal [NCAT], for example, are those who do not have other resources to take action in other courts to pursue remedy in some other way. Many people are deterred from pursuing justice through the NCAT because they do not have the resources. While the amendment is quite technical, this is a good bill that should be supported.
When a question of law is successfully appealed in the Land and Environment Court, Industrial Relations Commission, District Court, Supreme Court or High Court, the respondent to the appeal—that is, the person who lost—can have some of his or her costs paid. If they are ordered to pay the appellant's costs an indemnity can meet some of that liability. The idea is that the courts should get the law right in the first place and if they get it wrong the litigants should not be penalised. It is only a partial remedy for litigants because the amount of assistance is capped at $10,000 for New South Wales courts and $20,000 for the High Court.
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