Costs in public law children proceedings
Published by Louise Potter of
Last updated on 29/07/2020

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs in public law children proceedings
  • General principles
  • Leading case law
  • Costs order sought against local authority
  • Interveners' costs
  • Fact-finding and split hearings
  • Other case law
  • Allegations abandoned by local authority
  • Conduct in relation to disclosure
  • Significance of public body status
  • More...

Costs in public law children proceedings

This Practice Note provides guidance on the costs principles and case law that specifically apply to public law children proceedings, including care proceedings and adoption. It covers the courts’ approach to costs orders against parties, including local authorities, as well as fact-finding hearings and the costs of an intervener. It also provides guidance on the approach to costs and the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) statutory charge on a claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998).

General principles

In children proceedings, the general rule that costs will follow the event does not apply. Express statutory provision is made in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 28.2(1) disapplying Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), as to CPR 44.2(2). However, CPR 44.2(4)-(5) do apply to children proceedings both at first instance and on appeal, ie that in deciding what order, if any, to make as to costs the court will have regard to all the circumstances, including:

  1. whether a party has succeeded on part of its case even if they have not been wholly successful, and

  2. the conduct of the parties, ie:

    1. conduct before, as well as during, the proceedings

    2. whether it was reasonable for a party to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue

    3. the manner in which a party has pursued or defended its case

Related documents:
Key definition:
Costs definition
What does Costs mean?

Costs are the sums of money incurred in bringing or defending a claim. The court can make various costs orders for the payment of costs. Costs that are recoverable will be assessed by the court if not agreed. Costs budgeting and costs management are means of controlling litigation costs.

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