Master McCloud’s judgment limiting the costs which Andrew Mitchell MP can recover in his libel case (I wrote about that – see New costs management litigation budget rules claim Plebgate victim) is to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
This reflects the importance which is being attached to early clarification of issues which arise from the Jackson reforms which took effect on 1 April. Five appeal judges, including Lord Justice Jackson himself, have been appointed to hear such appeals. My view is that the Master was given no option by the express wording of the sanction specifically provided for in the rules:
…with her room to order otherwise trammelled by the policy made clear in the Master of the Rolls’ speech about relief from sanctions (see my earlier article for a summary of this). Whether the policy is right is a different matter – I think it is (sorry), but that is distinct from my conclusion that the Master was right.
There is more information about this in an article in the Lawyer called CA to hear “plebgate” costs challenge after High Court cuts libel budget.