Personal Immigration

Costs under the new Tribunal Procedure Rules

The new Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 laid before Parliament on 29 September 2014 will come into effect on 20 October 2014.  Amongst other developments, they make provision for the awarding of costs in limited circumstances. Currently, costs cannot be awarded in circumstances other than to cover the cost of the appeal fee.

Rule 9(a) reflects the current Rule 23A, that is, if the Tribunal allows an appeal, it may order a respondent to pay by way of costs to the appellant an amount no greater than:

  • any fee paid under the Fees Order that has not been refunded; and
  • any fee which the appellant is or may be liable to pay under that Order.

Rule 9(2)(b), however, states that the Tribunal may otherwise make an order in respect of costs only—

  • under section 29(4) of the 2007 Act (wasted costs) and costs incurred in applying for such costs; or
  • if a person has acted unreasonably in bringing, defending or conducting proceedings.

The Tribunal can make an order under this provision on application or on its own initiative and an application can be made at any time during the proceedings, but within 28 days of the notice of decision.

Such costs are to be determined by summary assessment by the Tribunal; agreement of a specified sum or by detailed assessment of the whole or specified part of the costs.

It remains to be seen how the new power to award costs in immigration proceedings will be exercised in practice by the Tribunal.

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