The Lord Chancellor or his representative may appear at any hearing at which a costs order may be made against him.
When the legally aided party files a statement of resources the court will fix a hearing date and give the relevant parties at least 14 days’ notice. If the application is made only against the Lord Chancellor, the court may fix a hearing date at the time of issue of the request.
If the legally aided party fails to file the statement of resources without good reason the court will determine his liability (and the full amount of costs if relevant) and need not hold an oral hearing for any such determination.
Within 21 days of being served with the application, the legally aided party must respond by filing a statement of resources (defined below) and serving a copy of it on the receiving party and where relevant the Lord Chancellor. The legally aided party may also, within the same time limit, file and serve written points disputing the bill of costs.
A request for an order must be made in the appropriate court office and must be accompanied by:
(i) the receiving party’s bill of costs (unless the full costs have already been determined);
(ii) the receiving party’s statement of resources (defined below);
(iii) if the receiving party intends to seek costs against the Lord Chancellor, written notice to that effect.
An order for costs to which s26 of the Act applies may specify the amount of full costs and may specify the amount payable by the legally aided party. Where appropriate a request may be made to the District Judge or Costs Judge of the relevant court to determine:
If an application for an order for costs against the Lord Chancellor (to be paid out of the legal aid fund) is made, the criteria set out in Part 3 of the Regulations apply. The following conditions must be satisfied before an order against the Lord Chancellor may be made:
If the court decides to make an order for costs against a legally aided party, it may either make an order that the amount of the costs payable by the legally aided party is to be determined by a Costs Judge or District Judge, or make an order which specifies the amount which the legally aided party is required to pay.
On 1 April 2013 s26 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (“the Act” in this section) replaced s11 of the Access to Justice Act 1999. S26(1) of the Act provides that costs ordered against an individual who is a legally aided party in relevant civil proceedings must not exceed the amount (if any) which it is reasonable for that party to pay having regard to all the circumstances, including:
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