Ineffective protection of individual rights due to excessive court costs

Expensive court charges and formalities are usually involved in bringing a civil action, in appealing against the judgement of a court in a civil case and in enforcing constitutional guarantees concerning a fair hearing. Charges for civil actions or appeals often increase with the value of the claim in dispute, and the charges for civil appeals may be higher than those charged at first instance. In some countries of Latin America, there are no court charges as such, but litigants in civil actions must, in taking certain steps, use sealed paper, the cost of which increases in proportion to the value of the matter in dispute. In several of the countries where the use of sealed paper is compulsory in civil actions, court charges also apply. A private person who initiates a prosecution may also have to make certain payments. All of these requirements discriminate against poorer persons. In addition, the expenses in question are incurred before embarking on proceedings, and eventual success in the action is of no assistance at that earlier point.
(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems