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In February 2013 we achieved a very successful result for our clients, the Family Planning Association on the eve a 2 day Judicial Review Hearing. At the eleventh hour the Department of Health conceded that it would issue guidelines on abortion, a result which our clients had been seeking for some years. The only matter therefore to be resolved by the Court was the issue of costs. On behalf of our clients we argued that the publication of the guidelines was an outright victory that would not have occurred had we not issued the application for Judicial Review. The Attorney General, on behalf of the Health Minister argued that the application was entirely unnecessary and indeed sought costs from the Family Planning Association.

Last week we received the judgment on the costs issue Ruling on the issue, Mr Justice Treacy held that the confirmation made on the eve of the planned hearing "vindicated" the FPA.

"It is tolerably clear that had the case proceeded to a full hearing the applicant is likely to have been successful," he said.

He rejected contentions by the Department that the judicial review was unnecessary and that the Association would not have been entitled to any relief.

"It follows that I also reject the respondent's audacious submission that the applicant should pay the respondent's costs," he said.

The judge confirmed: "I have had regard to the general guidance on costs contained in the authorities earlier referred to and on the facts and circumstances of the case and consider that the appropriate order is that the respondent should pay the applicant's costs."

 

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