Law Report: Costs award to partly aided party: Re H (Minors) (Legal Aid and Costs): House of Lords (Lord Griffiths, Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Brandon of Oakbrook, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton and Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle) 25 June 1992

Where proceedings were finally decided in favour of a party who then had legal aid but had previously been unassisted, and the losing party had been assisted throughout, the court had jurisdiction under section 18 of the Legal Aid Act 1988 to order payment by the Legal Aid Board of such part of the successful party's costs as had been incurred while he was unassisted.

The House of Lords dismissed the Board's objection to an order that the costs incurred by the defendant in the High Court prior to the issue of his legal aid certificate should be paid out of the Legal Aid Fund. The House made the order after giving judgment for the defendant in proceedings under the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 ((1991) 2 AC 476).

Charles Utley (Richard N Green) for the Board; Christopher Llewellyn-Jones QC and Debora Price (E Edwards, Son & Noice, Grays) for the defendant.

LORD BRIDGE said the plaintiff was legally aided throughout but the defendant had initially borne his own costs. Legal aid was granted to him during the first instance proceedings and continued until final disposal of the appeal by the House. Section 18 provided: '(1) This section applies to proceedings to which a legally assisted person is a party and which are finally decided in favour of an unassisted party. (2) In any proceedings to which this section applies the court by which the proceedings were so decided may . . . make an order for the payment by the Board to the unassisted party of the whole or any part of the costs incurred by him in the proceedings.' The Board argued that section 18(1) only covered a person who was an unassisted party at the time when the relevant proceedings were finally decided.

But his Lordship saw no difficulty in reading the language of section 18(1) and (2) as authorising an order for payment by the Board of such part of the costs of proceedings eventually determined in the defendant's favour as were personally incurred by him while he was not receiving legal aid and was thus an 'unassisted party' within section 2(11). The conjunction of 'finally decided' and 'unassisted person' in section 18(1) afforded no ground to link the required status of the party with the moment of final decision.

LORD GRIFFITHS, LORD BRANDON, LORD OLIVER and LORD JAUNCEY agreed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral