Hunt v North Somerset Council: SC 22 Jul 2015

The appellant had sought judicial review of a decision of the respondent to approve a Revenue Budget for 2012/13 as to the provision of youth services. He applied for declarations that the respondent had failed to comply with section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and section 507B of the Education Act 1996 and for an order quashing the decision to approve the budget.
Held: Where a court finds for a claimant on the substantive elements and refuses a remedy for the sole reason that it was too late to reverse the decision (here the adoption of the budget for a financial year which had expired) the court should look at the claimant as a successful party when considering the award of costs.
As to the costs appeal: ‘the Court of Appeal said that it reached its decision as a matter of principle, treating the respondent as the ‘successful party’. In adopting that approach, I consider that the court fell into error. The rejection of the respondent’s case on the two issues on which the appellant was given leave to appeal was of greater significance than merely that the respondent had increased the costs of the appeal by its unsuccessful resistance. The respondent was ‘successful’ only in the limited sense that the findings of failure came too late to do anything about what had happened in the past, not because the appellant had been slow to raise them but because the respondent had resisted them successfully until the Court of Appeal gave its judgment. The respondent was unsuccessful on the substantive issues regarding its statutory responsibilities.’

Baroness Hale of Richmond DPSC, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson JJSC
[2015] UKSC 51, [2015] WLR(D) 331, UKSC 2014/0023
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
Equality Act 2010 149, Education Act 1996 507B
England and Wales
At First InstanceHunt v North Somerset Council Admn 18-Jul-2012
The claimant who required support from the Council for his ADHD disorder challenged the respondent’s budget insofar as it limited support for children’s services in the Revenue Budget. Ge said that in making its decision to cut the budget, the . .
Appeal fromHunt, Regina (on The Application of) v North Somerset Council CA 6-Nov-2013
Appeal against an order dismissing the challenge by the appellant, to the lawfulness of the decision of the respondent, the Council to cut its Youth Services budget for the year 2012/2013. The claimant suffered ADHD and relied on services supported . .
Costs at CAHunt, Regina (on The Application of) v North Somerset Council CA 21-Nov-2013
Reasons for costs order made on failure of the claimant’s applications.
Held: The respondent should be entitled to recover half of its costs of the appeal. Rimer LJ said that by the time that the appeal came on for hearing, it was far too late . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Education, Judicial Review, Costs

Updated: 02 January 2022; Ref: scu.550392