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Komodo Dragons

The result of the Bar Council Elections is in (or out).

The new Chairman should immediately address two issues. I referred to one previously HERE (depose the Attorney General, for reasons of self-respect, from his “position” as “leader of the Irish Bar”).

The other is urgent. It is the need to campaign to reverse a new rule of the Superior Courts. The Superior Courts Rules committee has introduced the following paragraph into Order 99, Rule 1 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. 12 of 2008).

(4A) The High Court or the Supreme Court, upon determining any interlocutory application, shall make an award of costs save where it is not possible justly to adjudicate upon liability for costs on the basis of the interlocutory application.”;

The effect of this change is to tie the hands of the High Court or the Supreme Court on the issue of the payment of costs on interlocutory applications. Very often their costs are made “costs in the cause”. This means that the responsibility for the payment of the costs will lie with the unsuccessful litigant. Or, the costs are “reserved”. This means that the issue of responsibility for the payment of such costs will, or may, be determined by the trial judge at the hearing of the action.

The effect of the new rule is to favour wealthy litigants by raising the stakes for litigants who are not wealthy.

It is not enough now to be strategically superior; it is essential to be tactically perfect.

I am reminded of the Komodo Dragon. It has toxic saliva so powerful it needs just to strike and bite sufficient to break the skin of its victim, which, fleeing the attack, is followed by the Dragon at a leisurely pace in the certainty that the victim will succumb to the poison (a biological poison) and be eaten by the Dragon, alive.

Should we not prefer people to monsters?

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  1. By McGarr Solicitors » Flypaper society on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:02 am

    […] have written HERE of the problem posed, in Ireland, by new a High Court rule dealing with the costs of preliminary […]