Revised Practice Directions
Changes that have come into effect from November 2013
1. This note explains the revisions to the UKSC Practice Directions which come into effect on 7 November.
2. The new paragraph 2.1.32 sets out the practice which the office has developed in order to defer payment of the court fee where an Appellant's solicitors are operating under a conditional fee agreement which imposes the liability to pay the court fees on the Appellant personally. If the solicitor confirms that the Appellant would be eligible for fee remission, providing the necessary supporting material, then payment of the fee will be deferred until after the application for permission to appeal has been determined. Where permission to appeal is refused, payment of the fee would be waived provided the Appellant's means have not changed.
3. Paragraph 8.12.1 is amended to substitute a reference to the Legal Aid Agency for the existing reference to the Legal Services Commission.
4. Practice Direction 11 has been redrafted and the opportunity has been taken to reflect some of the changes which have been made to Part 68 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
Implementation of the EU Directive on Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings/Victims Code
5. The EU Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings will apply to proceedings in the Supreme Court and it comes into force at the end of October. The amendments to Practice Direction 12 require solicitors for an Appellant or Respondent to notify the Registry if it will be necessary to provide translations or interpretation during the course of the proceedings.
6. Practice Direction 12 is also amended to bring up to date the provisions relating to the Codes of Practice for Victims.
7. A revised version of Practice Direction 13 has been prepared in consultation with the Costs Judges and Users. The current Practice Direction was closely modelled on the provisions which applied in the House of Lords but the opportunity has been taken to make a number of changes now that the Supreme Court has been in operation for three years and to simplify the practice direction wherever possible. In April 2013 the new Parts 44-47 of the Civil Procedure Rules came into force subject to various transitional arrangements and the Legal Aid Agency replaced the Legal Services Commission in the same month. Some of these developments have specifically been reflected in the practice direction but the scheme of Practice Direction 13 has been, and will be, that "to the extent that the Supreme Court Rules and Practice Directions do not cover the situation, the Rules and Practice Directions which supplement Part 44-47 of the Civil Procedure Rules are applied by analogy at the discretion of the Costs Officers, with appropriate modification for appeals from Scotland and Northern Ireland".
8. The new provisions in CPR 3.19, 45.43 and 52.9A are specifically applied by paragraph 2.2 of the practice direction to make it clear that the Supreme Court may make orders limiting the costs of appeal proceedings before it. Paragraph 2.3 requires an application for a costs capping order, a protective costs order or an order limiting the recoverable costs of an appeal to be made as soon as practicable.
9. Paragraphs 4.1 to 4.6 reflect the changes made in England and Wales to the provisions relating to legal aid.
10. Paragraph 7.1 is new and requires a claim for (a bill of) costs to be made in Form 5. The new Form is a much simplified version of the form of bill which is currently used and its introduction is designed to reduce costs and simplify the assessment procedure.
11. Paragraph 9 sets out and expands the use of the procedure for the provisional assessment of costs which is conducted without a hearing.
12. Paragraph 12 clarifies the procedure for appealing the Costs Officers' decisions.
13. Paragraph 15 proposes modest increases to the guideline rates for the fees for solicitors and Counsel. But the general scheme for fees is largely unchanged.
14. Paragraph 6.3.7 of Practice Direction 6 is revised to reflect the new provisions of Practice Direction 13.
Practice Directions section
All Supreme Court Practice Directions can be viewed on our Practice Directions section.