Boxall v Waltham Forest Borough Council: 2001

The fact that the claimants were legally aided was immaterial when deciding what, if any, costs order to make between the parties in a case where they were successful and he declined to order that each side should bear its own costs. The court considered what should happen to cases where leave to apply for judicial review had been granted, but the decision had become academic before the hearing came on. Scott Baker J said: ‘The court has power to make a costs order when the substantive proceedings have been resolved without a trial but the parties have not agreed about costs.
It would ordinarily be irrelevant that the claimant is legally aided.
The overriding objective is to do justice between the parties without incurring unnecessary court time and consequently additional costs.
At each end of the spectrum there will be cases where it is obvious which side would have won had the substantive issues been fought to a conclusion. In between, the position will, in differing degrees, be less clear. How far the court will be prepared to look into the previously unresolved substantive issues will depend on the circumstances of the particular case, not least the amount of costs and the conduct of the parties.
In the absence of a good reason to make any other order the fall back position is to make no order as to costs.
The court should take care to ensure that it does not discourage parties from settling judicial review proceedings for example by a local authority making a concession at an early stage.’


Scott Baker J


(2001) 4 CCLR 258


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDumbuya, Regina (on the Application of) v London Borough of Lewisham Admn 16-Jul-2008
. .
CitedE, Regina (On the Application of) v Governing Body of JFS and Another SC 14-Oct-2009
The claimant had successfully challenged the policy of the school as racially discriminatory. He now sought an ancillary order that the respondents should not be allowed to request their costs from the defendant’s appeal whatever the outcome, the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Judicial Review, Costs

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.272878