England and Wales
Where the matter concerned the scope of the General Medical Council’s disciplinary jurisdiction, there was considerable public interest in the case and the High Court granted a Protective Costs Order (PCO) capping costs.
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Remedy UK Ltd is a campaigning organisation which seeks to change proposed reforms in training doctors. They sought to judicially review the failure of the General Medical Council to refer a complaint they made. The High Court granted permission.
The High Court granted a PCO capping costs recoverable by the Claimant. They refused to make a PCO capping costs recoverable by the Defendant. The High Court awarded the Claimant the costs of the application for the PCO, which the General Medical Council had resisted on the papers thereby necessitating oral hearing on the PCO (in addition to oral hearing on permission for judicial review).
There was considerable public interest in this case as it concerned the scope of the General Medical Council’s disciplinary jurisdiction. The Claimant had no private interest in the outcome. In denying a reciprocal order for the Defendant, the Court noted that there was no room for a “tit for tat” PCO.
Points of note
This case demonstrates that the Court may award an applicant the costs of a successful application for a PCO; however the analysis given is brief.