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No costs against local authorities: Re T

Date:20 AUG 2012

Janet Bazley QC and Sally Stone

1 Garden Court:

In Re T (Costs: Care Proceedings: Serious Allegations Not Proved) [2012] UKSC 36, [2012] 2 FLR (forthcoming) handed down on 25 July 2012, the Supreme Court has clarified the law in relation to the making of costs orders against local authorities in care proceedings. Overturning the judgment of Wilson LJ (as he then was), Munby LJ and Coleridge J in the Court of Appeal in Re T (Costs: Care Proceedings: Serious Allegations Not Proved) [2010] EWCA Civ 1585, [2011] 2 FLR 264, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that, absent unreasonable or reprehensible conduct of the proceedings, no order for costs should be made against a local authority which failed to make out allegations raised in care proceedings. Contrary to the approach in the Court of Appeal, there was no basis for a different approach where the allegations were determined in the fact-finding part of a split hearing.

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