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DD v Durham County Council & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 96 - 19/02/13


Appeal against i) a decision to refuse leave under s. 139(2), Mental Health Act 1983 concerning the scope of the duty of an approved mental health professional to exercise independent judgment; and ii) part of an order requiring the appellant to pay the costs that the first respondent had been ordered to pay to the second respondent for joining it to the action.

Appeal allowed. Held: The low threshold under s. 139 was met: the scope of the duty was a question of law of some importance that required to be remitted to a judge. Regarding the costs order, the appellant should not have been made responsible for the costs of the second respondent. Although it was reasonable for the first respondent to join the second respondent, the fact that the law was not clear was not a basis for making the appellant pay those costs. The first respondent had failed on the point against the second respondent and should bear the costs on ordinary principles.