Clause 62 - Tribunal charging power in respect of wasted resources

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:00 pm ar 2 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Craig Whittaker Craig Whittaker Assistant Whip, The Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury 4:00, 2 Tachwedd 2021

I have already spoken on clause 62; let me comment on clause 63. I apologise, Ms McDonagh, but I did not realise we were taking them together.

Representatives and relevant participants in the legal process on both sides have a role in ensuring that appeals run smoothly so that justice can be served. However, there has been clear judicial concern about the behaviours of some legal representatives in immigration and asylum cases, and we are seeking to strengthen the tribunal’s ability to tackle such conduct. As has been mentioned, judges can already issue a wasted costs order when a legal representative acts in a negligent, improper or unreasonable way that causes legal costs to be wasted. The tribunal can also award costs if a party to the appeal has acted unreasonably in bringing, defending or conducting proceedings, which is called an unreasonable costs order.

Costs orders are rarely made and are generally considered only at the request of the other party. To encourage more use of those existing powers, clause 63 provides a duty on the tribunal procedure committee to introduce tribunal procedure rules in the immigration and asylum chamber, which will lead judges to more regularly consider making a wasted costs order or an unreasonable costs order, or the new tribunal costs order introduced by clause 62. That will ensure that circumstances and behaviours that have warranted the making of costs orders previously will more often give rise to judicial attention. Existing case law identifies the types of circumstances and behaviours that have led to costs orders being made or considered, and the principles applied by the courts. Those have included showing a complete disregard for procedural rules, for example through abusing court processes in relation to evidence or the timing of applications.