Supreme Court decides O’Doherty and Waters not liable for legal costs

The Supreme Court has decided to deny the State’s application for its legal costs against Gemma O’Doherty and John Waters.

Waters and O’Doherty failed abjectly in their judicial review challenge to the constitutionality of Covid 19 laws introduced by the State. They had failed in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Yet the Supreme Court set aside the usual legal principle that ‘costs follow the event’. The State had applied for its costs on the basis that it was ‘entirely successful’ in the case.

The Supreme Court decided it would make no order as to costs in the State’s application. And it also decided to vacate costs orders made by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

One of the reasons put forward by the Supreme Court for this decision was that no personal gain was sought by O’Doherty and Waters. Another reason was the importance of the issues raised in the case.

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