Important Criminal Costs Decision

The High Court has rejected an application for the Director of Public Prosecutions (‘the DPP’) to be ordered to pay the costs of a Claimant in a judicial review on an inter partes basis.

In R (AB) v. Uxbridge Youth Court, the Claimant, who is the defendant in ongoing criminal proceedings, sought to challenge the decision of lay justices not to stay the proceedings against him, having contended that the prosecution had erred in its approach to applying its guidance in respect of suspects who may be victims of modern slavery. After the DPP agreed to withdraw the decision to continue the proceedings and to make that decision afresh, the Claimant agreed to withdraw his application for judicial review. However, he argued that the Director should pay his costs. 

Mr Justice Linden refused that application, holding (1) that the criminal costs regime applied to judicial reviews in criminal cases unless there was some exceptional reason to apply the civil costs regime, (2) that there was no exceptional reason in this case and (3) that applying the criminal costs regime, there was no basis to make an order for costs.

 Benjamin Douglas-Jones KC and Andrew Johnson appeared for the DPP.