PIAC’s submission analyses the current rules in relation to costs in litigation in NSW courts, noting that the usual rule is that costs follow the event, ie the losing party pays the winning party’s legal costs. PIAC recommends that consideration be given to reforming costs principles in order to facilitate access to justice. In particular, PIAC recommends that the costs rule should be reformed in public interest cases, with the introduction of legislation to create a presumption in favour of each party bearing their own legal costs in public interest proceedings. PIAC’s submission examines how to define public interest and the nature and timing of public interest costs orders. The submission also considers whether a general or public interest indemnity fund should be established as a method of removing costs barriers to public interest litigation.
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