W vs. Public Authority


The Tribunalís ruling deals with the issue of the payment of costs in a case where, although the Complainant withdrew their application, the Respondent (a public authority) sought recovery of costs.

The Complainant made a complaint against the Respondent in October 2006. After initial investigations, the Tribunal set a timetable for hearings, and the attendance of witnesses. Then the date for the first hearing was set. Much work was entailed in the process, and the Respondent incurred costs in relation to preparation for that hearing (including Counselís fees) in the sum of some £5,700.

In advance of this hearing the Complainant was directed by the Tribunal to serve submissions in writing, but he failed to do so. When further enquiries were made as to why, his response was to inform the Tribunal that he was formally withdrawing his complaint.

The issue being decided in this case was limited to whether costs can (and if so should) be awarded to (i) a respondent against a complainant; (ii) upon a withdrawal by the complainant. The Tribunal concluded that there was no power to award costs in the circumstances of the individual case. (Contrast the case of Chatwani above).

Judgment dated : 1 Feb 11

Download supporting full judgement documentation: