CURTIN v CLERK of Dáil Éireann and Others

CourtSupreme Court
JudgeMurray C.J.
Judgment Date06 Apr 2006
JurisdictionIreland
Neutral Citation[2006] IESC 27

[2006] IESC 27

SUPREME COURT

Murray C.J.

Denham J.

McGuinness J.

Hardiman J.

Geoghegan J.

Fennelly J.

McCracken J.

198/05
203/05
CURTIN v CLERK OF DAIL EIREANN & ORS

BETWEEN

BRIAN CURTIN
APPLICANT / APPELLANT
-v-
CLERK OF DÁIL ÉIREANN, CLERK OF SEANAD ÉIREANN, DEPUTY DENIS O'DONOVAN, DEPUTY JERRY CROWLEY, DEPUTY JAMES O'KEEFE, DEPUTY JAN O'SULLIVAN, SENATOR JOHN DARDIS, SENATOR GERALDINE FEENEY, SENATOR MICHAEL FINUCANE, IRELAND AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS

CONSTITUTION ART 6

CONSTITUTION ART 35.4

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE:

Costs

Discretion - Costs follow event - Unusual facts - Novel issue - Public interest -Plaintiff awarded half costs (198 & 203/2005 - SC - 6/4/2006) Curtin v Clerk of Dáil Éireann

1

RULING of the Court on the question of costs delivered on the 6th day of April, 2006 by Murray C.J.

2

Following upon the judgment delivered in this case on the 9th March, 2006 the Appellant has applied for an Order for his costs. The Attorney General and other parties have applied for the costs of the appeal against the Appellant. Each of the parties have made a similar application for costs of the proceedings in High Court as they have for the costs of this appeal. The costs awarded in the High Court concerning other matters are not in issue.

3

The Appellant was refused any of the reliefs which he sought in the High Court and on appeal in this Court. This Court ruled against him on a number of discrete issues which had been argued on his behalf in the appeal.

4

The general rule is that costs follow the event subject to the Court having a discretion, for special reason, to make a different Order. It is a discretion to be exercised in the circumstances and context of each case and is one which is so exercised from time to time.

5

Counsel for all parties referred to previous decisions of this Court, and the High Court, in which a discretion was exercised to make an order concerning costs which did not follow the general rule. It would neither be possible nor desirable to lay down one definitive rule according to which exceptions are made to the general rule. The discretionary function of the Court to be exercised in the context of each case militates against such a definitive rule of exception and it is also the reason why previous decisions on such a question are always of limited value.

6

One of the arguments advanced on behalf of the Appellant for an Order of costs in his favour was that he had succeeded in a core issue in his case, namely, that fair procedures required that there should be a dual adjudication on the proposal for his removal, that first there must be an adjudication as to whether he was guilty of the...

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