Regina v Lord Chancellor’s Department ex parte Child Poverty Action Group: Admn 6 Feb 1998

The claimant sought an order with regard to its costs in an anticipated application to the court. The application was refused. Requests in a public interest action for an advance order for costs could only be awarded in very exceptional circumstances. The discretion to make a PCO should be exercised in a case involving a public interest challenge: (i) the court must be satisfied that the issues raised are truly ones of general public importance; (ii) the court must be satisfied, following short argument, that it has a sufficient appreciation of the merits of the claim that it can be concluded that it is in the public interest to make the order; (iii) the court must have regard to the financial resources of the applicant and respondent, and the amount of costs likely to be in issue; (iv) the court will be more likely to make an order where the respondent clearly has a superior capacity to bear the costs of the proceedings than the applicant, and where it is satisfied that, unless the order is made, the applicant will probably discontinue the proceedings, and will be acting reasonably in so doing.


Dyson J


Times 27-Feb-1998, [1998] EWHC Admin 151, [1999] 1 WLR 347




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedThe Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament v The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, The Secretary of State for Defence (2) Admn 5-Dec-2002
The claimants intended to seek a judicial review requesting an interpretation of a resolution of the United Nations Security Council. They sought first, an order pre-emptively to limit their liability for costs.
Held: To make such a protective . .
CitedCorner House Research, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry CA 1-Mar-2005
The applicant sought to bring an action to challenge new rules on approval of export credit guarantees. The company was non-profit and founded to support investigation of bribery. It had applied for a protected costs order to support the . .
CitedHodgson and others v Imperial Tobacco Limited Gallagher Limited etc CA 12-Feb-1998
A large number of plaintiffs brought actions against the defendants, three tobacco companies, claiming damages for personal injuries by reason of cancer which they claimed was caused by smoking cigarettes manufactured by the defendants. A hearing . .
ApprovedVillage Residents’ Association Ltd v An Bord Pleanala (No 2) 2000
(Irish High Court) The court faced the first application for a Protective Costs Order (PCO) in the High Court of Ireland.
Held: There was jurisdiction to make such an order, but it was difficult in the abstract to identify the type or types of . .
CitedWilkinson v Kitzinger and Another FD 12-Apr-2006
The petitioner intended to seek a declaration as to her marital status. She and the respondent had married in a civil ceremony in British Columbia in 2003. She sought a declaration of incompatibility with regard to section 11(3) of the 1973 Act so . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 27 May 2022; Ref: scu.138272