Costs for judicial review—general principles
Produced in partnership with Morayo Fagborun Bennett of Hardwicke Chambers
Costs for judicial review—general principles

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Morayo Fagborun Bennett of Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs for judicial review—general principles
  • General rule on costs
  • Costs pre-permission stage
  • Costs when proceedings are resolved without trial
  • Costs when proceedings are concluded prior to trial
  • Examples of costs awards
  • Application of the principles
  • Administrative court guidance on costs
  • Calculating the public body’s costs
  • Costs and inferior courts and tribunals in public law litigation
  • more

General rule on costs

The general rule in relation to costs in judicial review, as in other proceedings, is that costs follow the event. However, pre-emptive cost orders can be applied for.

The costs of, and incidental to, all proceedings in the High Court are at the discretion of the court. The High Court has, by statute, discretion to award costs on a judicial review application.

The court has discretion on whether to make a decision on costs which is different from the general rule taking into account all the circumstances including the overriding objective.

The extent of the court’s discretion is:

  1. whether costs are payable by one party to another

  2. the amount of those costs, and

  3. when they are to be paid

Costs will follow the event unless in the circumstances of the case the court considers that some other order, in relation to costs, such as a pre-emptive costs order, should be made, for example for the claimant to continue the case.

An unsuccessful claimant will be ordered to pay the public body’s costs, including pre-permission costs.

The unsuccessful claimant will not usually be ordered to pay both the costs of the defendant and the interested parties, unless the interested party or parties deal with a separate point in the dispute from those dealt with by the defendant.

In Camden London Borough Council v