A police officer appealing against findings of misconduct could not have had a legitimate expectation that the police authority would pay his costs because, although he had been told by the force solicitor that that was normal practice, he had also been told that the tribunal had the power to recommend to the Secretary of State that in exceptional circumstances he pay his own costs, and indeed all the costs.Application by a former police constable ('T') for judicial review of a decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department ('the secretary of state') made initially on 13 May 2002 and reaffirmed on 17 March 2003. The decision under challenge was that T should pay his own costs incurred in connection with his appeal against findings that he had misconducted himself towards female members of the police force while he was a member of Northumbria Police. The tribunal hearing that appeal, which was a complete rehearing, recommended that T should be ordered to pay his own costs. T was given no opportunity to make representations as to costs and he therefore challenged the tribunal's decision on the grounds of procedural unfairness and failure to obey the rules of natural justice. When permission to proceed with the action was given, negotiations led to a stay so that the tribunal could consider T's representations and reconsider the question of costs. The tribunal did so but robustly supported its original decision. The action for judicial review therefore proceeded on the remaining ground of challenge, namely that T had a legitimate expectation that his costs would be paid by the police authority. T's present solicitors ('HC') had taken over the conduct of the appeal from T himself. The force solicitor left a message with HC, when they were instructed, to the effect that the old law in the Police Act meant that the police authority would pay the costs whether or not T was successful and that this was the usual course of action. The force solicitor did this as a matter of courtesy, aware that solicitors inexperienced in dealing with Home Office appeals might assume that costs followed the event. HC researched the law and did advise T that there was a possibility that he would be liable for costs, as did the chairman of the tribunal.HELD: (1) Although T had been told by the force solicitor that the normal practice was that the police authority would pay his costs, he had also been told that the tribunal had the power to recommend to the secretary of state in exceptional circumstances that he pay his own costs, and indeed all the costs. (2) His expectation could not possibly have been that his costs would be paid in any event. No legitimate expectation was established. (3) The judge awarded costs in favour of T up to the agreed stay of the proceedings, and in favour of the secretary of state and the interested party from the date of the amended grounds for a claim for judicial review. He awarded an interim payment of ?1,000 against T in favour of the secretary of state, with a view to encouraging settlement in view of T's limited means (see Allason v Random House (2002) LTL 28/2/2002).Application dismissed.

[2003] EWHC 2382 (Admin)

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