Robert Talalay appears before the Court of Appeal in a successful appeal concerning civil restraint orders and access to justice

14 October 2019

Bobby successfully acted for the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary in appealing the judgment of the High Court not to extend a general civil restraint order (GCRO). The High Court’s decision was founded primarily on the grounds that to extend the GCRO would act as a bar on his (and other impecunious litigants’) ability to access justice due to the fees regime. The Court of Appeal considered the important and inter-related issues of interpretation of the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008 and access to justice for litigants subject to civil restraint orders.

The Court of Appeal interpreted the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008 as requiring that litigants subject to a GCRO were not entitled to fee remission to make an application for permission to issue a new claim, but that the fee was £55 (not £255 as determined below) and was refundable if the application for permission was successful. The Court placed weight on the low level of the fee, the availability of legal aid, and the absence of national evidence suggesting the fee regime did act as a bar. The Court determined that that regime acted as a legitimate deterrent against vexatious litigation and did not act as a bar to access to justice. Finding that the Court below erred in law and fact (on this and on other issues), the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the High Court and extended the GCRO.

A copy of the Judgment can be found online here.

Bobby Talalay was instructed on behalf of the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary

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