The People’s Supreme Court and the ILSTA held a consultation workshop to review the law on court fees from 2-4 May 2018.
The legal framework in Laos is undergoing significant developments as Laos moves towards its goal of being a State governed by the rule of law. As the economy and society develop, so too the legal framework needs to keep up with changes and developments.
The current Law on Court Fees has been in force since 2007 and has made the payment of court fees transparent and predictable. Court fees have implications to all citizens seeking justice. The principle of access to justice, which is set down in the Constitution, is important for all citizens. The judiciary has to be predictable and it is common in states under rule of law that the judiciary has an adequate budget to fulfil its powers necessary of a modern state.
The daily administration of justice by the courts incurs costs. Reviewing court fees can effectively recover administrative costs and may facilitate the discharge of court duties in a competent and timely manner. Court fees, however, should not be a barrier to citizens seeking justice through the court system.
In 2017, Laos’ first Penal Code comprising 420 articles was adopted by the National Assembly. This comprehensive code covers new areas such as Anti-Money Laundering and liability of legal persons.
A Civil Code comprising over 600 articles which is currently undergoing a public consultation process will be put before the legislature at the end of this year.
The workshop is supported by Luxembourg Development Assistance under the LuxDev Project LAO/031, which supports the development of the rule of law in Laos.