Prosecutor's liability to costsHeld: a prosecuting authority’s immunity from a costs award made against it may violate Article 6(1) where it puts a party to civil proceedings at an undue disadvantage vis-à-vis the prosecuting authorities. The factual and legal background to a case could not be overlooked in assessing whether there had been a fair hearing. The case was complex and the applicants’ decision to have professional legal representation had not been unwarranted. The costs of such assistance had not been incurred recklessly or without good justification. Article 6(1) violated. Stankrewicz v. Poland (2007) 44 EHRR 47.
Facts: the applicants were sued by the District Prosecutor. The claim was dismissed, and the State Treasury was ordered to pay the applicants’ costs of the litigation. The District Prosecutor appealed unsuccessfully, but the applicants were then ordered to pay all of the District Prosecutor’s costs.
Categories: 4th Edition, Chapter 14, Updates