Assessments of costs in the Supreme Court are conducted by the Costs Officers appointed by the President. One must be a Costs Judge; the second must be the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The Costs Officers normally sit together as a Court of two or three. The current panel of Costs Judges sitting in the Supreme Court is the Senior Costs Judge (Chief Taxing Master) Gordon-Saker, Master Leonard and Master James.
Assessments of costs of an application, appeal or other matter before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (“JCPC”) are conducted by the Senior Costs Judge or a Costs Judge nominated by him.
Assessments are conducted in public, usually in one of the court rooms in the Supreme Court’s building on Parliament Square.
Assessments in the Supreme Court are governed by the Supreme Court Rules 2009 and the Practice Directions, in particular Practice Direction 13 which supplements the Rules; it is available on the internet and can be accessed via the Supreme Court website.
The assessment of costs in the JCPC is governed by the relevant provisions of the Judicial Committee (Appellate Jurisdiction) Rules 2009 (in particular Part 6) supplemented by Practice Direction 8 (on costs) and other Practice Directions issued to the Judicial Committee; these are available on the internet and can be accessed via the JCPC website.
Both in the Supreme Court and in the JCPC, wherever the Rules or Practice Directions do not cover a situation, the Rules and Practice Directions relating to Parts 44-47 of the Civil Procedure Rules are applied by analogy at the discretion of the Costs Judge, with appropriate modifications for appeals from Scotland and Northern Ireland, or, in the case of the JCPC, from foreign jurisdictions. The legal principles applied are those also applicable to assessments between parties in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in England and Wales.