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JR Claimant Denied Costs, Despite Ofcom Short-Circuiting the Proceedings


Channel 6 Broadcasting Limited v Ofcom (BSkyB intervening)

Admin Court, Dobbs J., 16 June 2010

The Administrative Court has ordered that Channel 6 not be awarded its costs in judicial review proceedings which it withdrew upon an indication from Ofcom, made after the service of Channel 6's grounds, that Ofcom would not contest the claim.

On the costs of judicial review proceedings concluded without a full hearing, see White Book, para 44.3.7 and the cases cited therein.

The issue which arose in the judicial review proceedings was whether Ofcom had an immediate jurisdiction under the Communications Act 2003 to regulate BSkyB's Irish electronic programme guide, or whether such jurisdiction would arise only upon the expiry of the period for implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive.  Ofcom ultimately accepted that the former was the case.

In the costs proceedings, Ofcom succeeded in establishing that Channel 6 had: (a) failed to identify at any time before the service of its grounds a good basis for the contention that Ofcom enjoyed an immediate jurisdiction; (b) delayed in bringing the claim for judicial review; and (c) delayed in seeking its costs.

David Scannell acted for Ofcom.

Richard Gordon Q.C. and David Scannell advised Ofcom in relation to the merits of Channel 6's grounds for judicial review.