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Courts Act 2003

Fees, costs and fines

Section 93: Award of costs against third parties

240.Section 93 amends the POA 1985 to provide for magistrates’ courts, the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal to have power to order a third party to pay the costs of parties to criminal proceedings that are wasted or incurred as a result of the third party’s serious misconduct when the judge thinks it appropriate that the third party should pay the costs.

241.The new section allows for regulations to specify types of misconduct that should not lead to a costs order and ensuring that the court can take account of other costs orders that have been, or will be, made in the case. Regulations may also provide that orders can be made at any time. The third party’s conduct, and its effect on the costs in the case, may only come to light after the proceedings have ended. This provision would enable costs to be ordered against a third party where, for example, a verdict is set aside on later discovery that jurors were intimidated.

242.It is intended that regulations will also provide for a third party to have an opportunity to be heard by the court before it makes an order. Third parties ordered to pay costs by a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court will have a right of appeal to a higher court. This mirrors the provisions for appeal against wasted cost orders under section 19A.

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