HC Deb 03 December 2002 vol 395 cc737-8W
Mr. Soames

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what powers courts have to make a 'wasted costs' order. [82468]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Section 19A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 enables the court, in criminal proceedings, to disallow or order the legal or other representative to meet the whole or any part of the 'wasted costs' incurred by a party as a result of any improper, unreasonable or negligent act or omission on the part of any representative or his employee.

In civil proceedings, an equivalent power rests in Section 51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 which provides that the costs of proceedings are in the discretion of the court, subject to any enactment, or rules of court. Rule 44.14 of the Civil Procedure Rules provides the court with the power to make an order for 'wasted' costs against the party or his legal representative where they have failed to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order or where their conduct at any point in proceedings was unreasonable or improper.