PRIVY COUNCIL JUDGMENT ON EX-CHIEF JUSTICES COSTS


Following the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council's majority Advice to Her Majesty the Queen last November in relation to the removal of the then Chief Justice of Gibraltar, the matter of costs came before the Privy Council on the 2nd July 2010.

In a Judgment issued on the 01.10.10, Master Campbell of the Privy Council recalled how the case was "very unusual." The United Kingdom's most senior judges had heard the matter and Lords Phillips, Brown, Judge and Clarke had advised Her Majesty that the Chief Justice should be removed from office whilst Lords Hope and Rodger and Lady Hale had held that the case for removal had not been made out and that the proper course was for him to resign.

Previously a specially convened Tribunal in Gibraltar had unanimously recommended the CJ's removal (Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, Rt. Hon Sir Peter Gibson and Rt. Hon Sir Jonathan Parker).

Prior to the substantive hearing in London, Lord Phillips had ordered that the Chief Justice's legal costs be covered by the Government of Gibraltar. At the costs hearing the Government had argued that the Chief Justice's replacement of the legal team who had represented him before the Tribunal had led to an unnecessary increase in costs.

Charles Gomez & Co had replaced the London firm of Bindman & Partners and new counsel had been instructed. The Government further argued that under Privy Council rules the costs incurred in work carried out in Gibraltar were not recoverable. Master Campbell however accepted Charles Gomez' submissions to the effect that the solicitors' costs had been "reasonably and properly incurred and reasonable in amount" and were recoverable. Counsel's fees were also assessed.

At the taxation hearing which was held in the new Supreme Court Building in Westminster, Charles Gomez appeared on behalf of the ex-Chief Justice of Gibraltar and Andreas Gledhill of Blackstone Chambers represented the Government of Gibraltar.


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