Judicial review: Commission's application for costs dismissed

23 March 2023


The Honourable Justice Mallon has ruled that costs should lie where they fall in response to our application for costs from Lawyers for Climate Action New Zealand (LCANZI), following LCANZI’s judicial review of our advice.

We understand LCANZI’s motives for pursuing a judicial review and recognise the important role that legal proceedings can have in testing the legality of advice. 

A key focus for us throughout this judicial review has been to take an impartial view on the precedent we are setting, as this is the first time our advice has been judicially reviewed. 

Our decision to seek costs was not made lightly. There were some crucial factors which – after careful consideration – led us to seek a part of the costs we incurred in defending the case. 

Our view is that not pursuing costs would have set a precedent requiring the Commission to take a view of the motives and merits of any individual or group who wished to apply for judicial review of the Commission’s advice.  

The Commission cannot judge whether a particular litigant’s claim is in the public interest or worthy – those issues are best determined by the courts. 

Our intent throughout this process has been to set a standard best practice based, neutral approach to judicial review.

You can read the ruling here: 

Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc v The Climate Change Commission (Costs) [PDF - 177 KB]