New Immigration Tribunal Rules

The Tribunal Procedure ( First Tier Tribunal) ( Immigration & Asylum Chamber ) Rules 2014 were announced yesterday and come into force on the 20th October. They replace the procedural rules of 2005. They are much of the same running order and fairly routine to those of us who practice in this area of law and spend our time enthralled  with the rigours of procedural matters before we even get to the substantive issues ! However, of interest but equally of concern is the provision to award costs. Rule 9 permits for costs to be awarded against the Home Office where the Tribunal allows an appeal but as ever, the devil is found in the detail as Rule 9(2) (b) states that the Tribunal may otherwise make an order in respect of costs where a person has acted unreasonably in bringing , defending or conducting proceedings.

The Tribunal can make an order under this provision on application or on its own initiative and can be made at any time during the proceedings but within 28 days of notice of decision. Such costs are to be determined by summary assessment by the Tribunal; agreement of a specified sum or by detailed assessment of the whole or specified part of the costs.

This will no doubt become the new Pandora's box of the appellate process.