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Costs awarded against judge who participated in appeal in his capacity as a litigant

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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Supreme Court allows appeal from Court of Appeal, and awards costs to applicant of a judicial review against a District Court Judge who contested an order for costs made by the High Court, on the grounds that the judge had not been entitled to avail of quasi-immunity where he had acted in his capacity as a litigant, rather than his capacity as a judge.

O'Malley J (nem diss): Judicial review - whether costs should have been awarded to appellant by Court of Appeal - refusal to pay professional fees sought by auctioneer - judgment in sum of €350K - upheld by Supreme Court - application by auctioneers for licence - objection to grant of 'certificate of qualification' - certificate granted - 'warning note' placed on file concerning objections made by appellant - application for judicial review concerning certificate of qualification and 'warning note' - whether judge should have disqualified himself by reason of solicitor being in court - solicitor's firm having previously acted for judge - objective bias - whether District Court had jurisdiction to order 'warning note' to be put on file - orders for costs against Circuit Court judge in favour of appellant and notice party - bills of costs received by Chief State Solicitor's Office (CSSO) - appeal brought against orders for costs - whether mala fides or impropriety on part of judge - judgment granted on appeal - remittal to High Court - refusal to hear submissions - appeal to Court of Appeal - immunity of judges from suit - order pre-dating amendment to RSC - S.I. 345/2015.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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