Kerry Underwood


with 3 comments

In a move which lawyers of all political views are likely to find very disturbing, the government is proposing to force the Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal to consider a Wasted Costs Order against the lawyers representing an unsuccessful applicant, with a presumption in favour of making one.

Addressing the House of Commons on 24 March 2021, having first told The Sun newspaper the previous weekend, the Home Secretary said that this would “tackle the practice of meritless claims which clog up the courts with last minute claims and appeals,” saying that  “for too long our justice system has been gamed”.

The basis of the proposal is that, by definition, if a person fails in an immigration or asylum claim, then they are likely to be deported and not around to satisfy any costs judgment in favour of the Home Office.

“To achieve this, we propose to introduce a duty on the Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (FtTIAC) to consider applying a WCO in response to specified events or behaviours, including failure to follow the directions of the court, or promoting a case that is bound to fail. While the grant of a WCO is at the sole discretion of the judge we are considering introducing a presumption in favour of making one. In addition, as WCOs only cover the costs of the parties to the claim, we are also considering introducing a mechanism to cover the court’s costs.”

A Wasted Costs Order is made against a lawyer personally and Section 67 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 requires a court to report to the regulator any lawyer against whom a Wasted Costs Order is made.

The power exists already throughout the Court and Tribunal system.

There can be little doubt that this move is designed to deter lawyers from taking on cases that currently would not put them at risk of a financial penalty and possible disciplinary action.

In effect, lawyers risk being penalised and disciplined for making an application where their client’s life may be at stake if they are deported back to their own country.

That is morally wrong and an afront to all traditional values, right or left, of the United Kingdom.

What is the next step? To make a presumption of a Wasted Costs Order against solicitors and counsel representing a person found guilty in a criminal matter, on the basis that the criminal in prison will be unable to satisfy any costs order.

This is very dangerous territory indeed.

Written by kerryunderwood

March 30, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Priti’s Police State marches on..

    George Clarke

    April 1, 2021 at 12:19 am

  2. […] for 30 years, has just published the following information on his blog, which is very concerning (source). In essence, lawyers are now being threatened by the Home office with huge personal losses, which […]

  3. Nobody should be made bankrupt by the courts over costs, but this is something which has being going on towards represented parties and LiPs for some time.


    April 24, 2021 at 9:33 am

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