(Family Division, Peter Jackson J, 17 April 2013)
In the substantive proceedings freeing orders in relation to the two children, now statutory orphans, were discharged and declarations were made pursuant to s 7(1) (b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 that Lancashire County Council and the Independent Reviewing Officer had breach the rights of the boys under Arts 8, 6 and 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950. A costs statement of £210,734.57 was served on behalf of the children.
The submission of the local authority, that these were family proceedings was accepted and, therefore, that FPR 28.1 applied and required a just order without applying the general rule that costs followed the event.
The local authority's conduct in relation to the children over many years had been blatantly unlawful and reprehensible and led inexorably to substantial litigation. There was therefore, no question that the local authority's conduct had been so unreasonable to the extent that it should pay the children's costs.