S.P.U.C. v Coogan (No. 2)

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeFINLAY C.J.,McCarthy J.
Judgment Date20 March 1990
Neutral Citation1990 WJSC-SC 1293
Docket Number[1988 No. 7714P]
CourtSupreme Court
Date20 March 1990
SPUC v. COOGAN
S.P.U.C. (IRELAND) LTD.
Plaintiff

and

COOGAN AND ORS.
Defendants

1990 WJSC-SC 1293

Finlay C.J.

Walsh J.

Griffin J.

Hederman J.

McCarthy J.

328/88

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

PRACTICE

Costs

Appeal - High Court - Decision - Claim of plaintiff - Dismissal - Interlocutory motion - Defendant not represented professionally - Dismissal on ground of plaintiff's lack of locus standi - Point raised by trial judge - Decisison of High Court reversed on appeal - Defendant not responsible for erroneous decision - Standard practice that costs follow the event - Costs of appeal not reserved until determination of substantive claim - (328/88 - Supreme Court - 20/3/90) - [1990] 1 I.R. 273

|Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Ir.) Ltd. v. Coogan|

Citations:

RSC O.60 r2

DPP, PEOPLE V MCGINLEY 1987 IR 342

GOURIET V AG 1978 AC 475

CROTTY V AN TAOISEACH 1987 IR 713

CONSTITUTION ART 40.3

SPUC V GROGAN & ORS UNREP SUPREME 19.12.89

1

JUDGMENT ON THE ISSUE OF COSTS delivered on the 20th day of March 1990by FINLAY C.J.[WALSH J., GRIFFIN J., HEDERMAN J. concurring]

2

The only issue remaining in this case is the application of the Plaintiff for costs having succeeded in an appeal against the Order made in the High Court by Carroll J. on the 7th September 1988 in which she refused an application made by the Plaintiff for an interlocutory injunction against the Defendants, restraining them from distributing certain information with regard to abortion, in breach of the Constitution. The grounds of the refusal made in the High Court was that the Plaintiffs had no locus standi to seek the injunction, and no determination of the issue on the merits of their right to an interlocutory injunction was reached in the High Court.

3

The Defendants, who are students, were not represented at the hearing in the High Court, but upon the refusal of the application for an injunction an Order for costs in their favour was made.

4

Against that judgment the Plaintiffs appealed. Upon the hearing of the appeal by direction of this Court the Attorney General was joined by reason of the fact that questions as to a possible exclusive right of his part to seek injunctions in the circumstances arising in this case had been raised in the course of the argument. This Court finally decided that the Plaintiffs had locus standi for the institution of proceedings by way of a claim for an interlocutory injunction, and remitted the matter to the High Court with that finding. The question of costs would have been dealt with at the termination of the case were it not for the fact that the entire Court which had hear the appeal was not present on that occasion.

5

It has been contended that the Defendants should not be made liable for the costs of the appeal. There is no application for any costs in the High Court being made on behalf of the Plaintiff. The grounds of the submission that the Defendants should not be made liable for the costs of the appeal appear to me substantially to be that they did not invent or create the point upon which the error inthe High Court occurred.

6

I am satisfied that it is necessary for very substantial reasons of an unusual kind to exist before this Court should properly depart from the general principle that costs follow the event on the hearing of appeals before it. The Plaintiff appealed against an Order which effectively determined its proceedings against it and was successful on that appeal. I do not consider that there are any grounds for departing from the usual principle. In particular, I am not satisfied that events which have occurred since the conclusion of this case in the Supreme Court with the delivery of the reserved judgment could or should influence the view on costs. I would allow the Plaintiffs their costs of this appeal, and make no order as to costs in the High Court.

7

Judgment on the Issue of Costs delivered the 20th day of March 1990by McCarthy J.

8

On 1st July 1988 the Plaintiff's Solicitors requested from the continuing Defendants an undertaking not to include in the Welfare Guide distributed by the U.C.D. Students Union the names and addresses of Abortion Clinics in Great Britain. There was no reply. By letter of 20th July 1988 the Plaintiff's Solicitors enquired of the Attorney general whether he would take action in the Courts to prevent the dissemination of this information. There being no immediate reply a plenary summons was issued on the 16th August 1988; as this Court was informed in thecourseof the hearing of this appeal, a telephone conversation took place between the Office of the Attorney General and the Plaintiff's Solicitors following which it was stated, by letter of the 6th September 1988, that the Attorney General had considered the enquiry, noted the...

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