The increase of stamp duties, a measure that may create obstacles to achieving access to justice

One issue that may be identified with regard to justice in Romania is related to the high stamp duties. Emergency Government Ordinance no. 83/2013 provided for an increase of the level of stamp duties, accompanied by a decrease in the number of situations where requests are exempted from the stamp duty. Therefore, the question arises whether or not by means of these increased stamp duties, the citizen’s right to free access to justice is restricted, made more difficult or even blocked.

We are not contesting the importance and the usefulness of stamp duties, but we are however of the opinion that the value of stamp duties should relate to the income of the claimant, because there are situations when, precisely because of the prohibitive amount, citizens are prevented from exercising their right to free access to the courts of law and, implicitly, to justice.

1. What measures does the Commission recommend in order for the value of stamp duties to be adapted to the citizens’ social and economic conditions?