Boxall Revisited - Costs in Applications for Judicial Review

08.05.12 | |

The Court of Appeal (the Master of the Rolls, Hallett LJ and Stanley Burnton LJ) has today revisited the circumstances in which a claimant in an action for judicial review should be entitled to their costs when their application has been compromised with a successful outcome. Robert Latham (instructed by Hansen Palomares) successfully overturned a decision of the Administrative Court, where no order for costs had been made in an age dispute case on the ground that the outcome of case had not been obvious from the outset.

Provided that the Claimant has complied with the Judicial Review protocol, the Master of the Rolls indicated that costs should normally follow the event. Five arguments were considered as to why defendants who concede public law claims should be less at risk on costs than those who concede in ordinary civil claims. Each of these arguments was rejected.

Stanley Burnton LJ suggested that settlements in which the question of costs are to be left to be determined by a Court are too common. In such circumstances, parties should no longer assume that the likely order is one of no order as to costs. A successful negotiation of the costs issue is likely to be cost effective, saving the cost of written representations. No order for costs should only be the default position where the judge cannot fairly and sensibly make an order in favour of either party. The material to be considered by a judge on such an application should be proportionate to the sums in dispute.

To view the judgment, please click here.

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