The proposal, which Právo reported on Monday, envisages an increase so that the amount of the tariff corresponds to inflation for the years 2006 to 2022, which, according to data from the Czech Statistical Office, amounts to 51.6 percent. However, as Blažek told Práva on Monday, this may not happen in the current economic situation. The proposal was criticized by the Ministry of Finance or the Municipal Court in Prague, which took some calculations into account.
It is in the hands of the government
“I understand the arguments of the Ministry of Finance, the problem is that the lawyer’s tariff has not changed at all for more than ten years, and time has moved not only because of inflation. The problem is that this is happening at an unfortunate time. I would be in favor of changing the lawyer’s tariff, but the objections are not only from the Ministry of Finance, but from several departments,” Blažek, a lawyer by profession, told Právu on Monday.
“The fate of the tariff is in the hands of the entire government, and if the arguments from other colleagues from the government are crucial, it may happen that the proposal will be significantly modified, or not at all. I am under the pressure of time to get the amendment approved so that it will be in the collection of laws from July 1. If we don’t make it, I still have the whole autumn to do it,” he added.
The government is saving money, but Blažek wants higher remuneration for lawyers
For the year 2022, 588 million crowns were paid from the state budget to lawyers in remuneration.
As Pravo pointed out on Monday, according to the Ministry of Finance, the proposed measures would cost the state coffers an additional 590 million, i.e. a doubling of these expenses.
The changes also include shortening the length of one legal act, for example a meeting in court or a consultation with a client, from two hours to one hour. This means that attorneys will charge a lot more for actions. Furthermore, there will be a significant increase in the minimum amounts from which the reward is calculated.
The change would increase expenses in connection with the cancellation of legal entities up to fivefold. The Municipal Court pointed out that it initiates proceedings for the annulment of legal entities in the order of thousands of units annually, so far the costs of one act of the appointed guardian amount to 3,400 crowns without VAT, after the amendment it would be 18,150 crowns.
The last valorization was in 2006
Lawyers defend that the remuneration adjustment was last valued following the development of inflation in 2006.
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“The aim of this amendment is to change the regulation of attorneys’ fees so that the amount of fees is adapted to the development of inflation, the growth of the minimum wage, the average wage in the business sector, expenses for the remuneration of judges and prosecutors, but also the professional demands of the activities performed and the level of responsibility of the lawyer,” he said Justice Ministry spokesman Vladimír Řepka.
He added that the adequate setting of the amount of remuneration for the work of a lawyer should also contribute to the proper provision of the necessary network of lawyers even in areas where more socially disadvantaged residents live.
“The lawyer’s tariff is here so that if you win in court, you will receive the costs of the proceedings, which will roughly cover the price of the lawyer. Since the tariff has not changed for 16 years, they will not cover its price. Remuneration from the state is marginal in our practice. It’s people’s money, not the state’s,” said lawyer Petr Němec.
However, as argued by the Ministry of Finance, lawyers are not among the vulnerable population groups that the government should think about in connection with the consolidation of public finances, and the proposed increase would, on the contrary, have a negative impact on the population.
According to the Municipal Court in In Prague, the proposal could lead to a restriction of access to justice. This is because many people will consider going to court in view of the risk of paying increased costs to the successful opposing party. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is leaning towards this. “The rate of increase is so high that it may lead to the unaffordability of a lawyer for some people,” it said.
The cancellation of additional sessions is imminent
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