Litigation & Arbitration Updates 1-2013
ROYAL DECREE-LAW 3/2013, OF FEBRUARY 22ND, 2013, AMENDING THE RULES ON FEES IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE FREE LEGAL AID SYSTEM
Royal Decree-Law 3/2013, of February 22nd, 2013, amending the rules on fees in the justice system governed by Law 10/2012 of November 20th, 2012 (Law 10/2012) and Law 1/1996 of January 10th, 1996 on free legal aid (Law 1/1996), was published in the Official State Gazette on February 23rd, 2013.
According to the preamble to the royal decree-law, the amendments to Law 10/2012 (which were analyzed in Newsletter 6-2012 of November 2012) are justified because, even though the fees are not considered, in the abstract and in themselves, to be detrimental to any particular right, there may be specific, individual, cases in which the established fee is excessive and has undesired effects.
The amendments to Law 10/2012 can be summed up as follows: (i) reduction in the amount of fees under certain circumstances; (ii) non requirement of fees on certain cases depending on the type of proceeding; (iii) creation of a specific scale for individuals, with a lower rate than the standard scale, which will be limited to legal entities; (iv) a fee limit in judicial review proceedings when an appeal is filed against a penalty decision, preventing the fee from exceeding 50% of the amount of the fine; (v) the resolution of problems arising from the application of Law 10/2012 in capacity, filiation and matrimonial proceedings and proceedings affecting minors, in cases involving legal actions brought by insolvency managers and in property division proceedings.