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President signed amendments on returning of progressive court fee scale

On the twenty third of October 2013 amendments to the Law of Ukraine “Onthe court fee” that provide new rates of court fees, in particular in cases onremunerating of moral (non-pecuniary) damage came into force.

Amendments foresee, among others, return to the progressive scale of court fees payments according to which the sumof the court fee depends on the amount of stated claims on remunerating ofmoral (non-pecuniary) damage.

Thus, in case of filling the lawsuit on remuneration of non-pecuniarydamage with its value up to 5 amounts of minimum wage (5735 UAH), the amount ofthe court fee is going to be 0,2 of the amount of minimum wage (approx. 300UAH). If plaintiff demands from 5 to 50 amounts of minimum wage (up to57 350 UAH) – the sum of the fee will increase up to 5% of the lawsuit,but it will be not less than 0,3 of the amount of minimum wage (344 UAH), andin case of especially sensitive injured persons that claim more than 50 amountsof minimum wage – it will increase up to 10% of the cost of the lawsuit.

Previous version of the Law on court fee provided maximum amount of courtfee – 3 minimal wages (3441 UAH). It meant that a person that has paid 3minimal wages could claim for unlimited amount of moral (non-pecuniary) damagewhat was happening during last 2 years. Absence of progressive scale openedpossibilities of pressure on mass media and certain journalists and alsobrought back practice of mandative closing of mass media after application ofdisproportional fine sanctions.

 In Ukraine there was an analogue of current system from 2003 till2011 – the moment of adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On the court fee”. Thus, Decreeof Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On the state fee” fixed a three-stage feescale: 1%, 5% and 10% of the sum and amount of the claim. This scale disappearedbecause of adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On the court fee”. It was the reasonof bringing into court number of claims against mass-media, journalists andcivil activists where sums up to 1 million UAH appeared.

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