[Downgrading of Prince Harry’s Security] | UK HC directs the Duke of Sussex to pay 90% of reasonable costs to the Home Department for the legal expenses incurred

Duke of Sussex award of costs Megxit

High Court of Justice, United Kingdom: The King’s Bench Division of the Court presided over by Sir Peter Lane, J.*, passed a costs order against Prince Harry to pay the legal costs incurred by the defendant up to 90%, subject to the 10% reduction granted by the Court owing to the breach by the defendant in disclosing relevant documents and information to the Prince in a timely manner. The Court said that Prince Harry’s submissions of having the costs liability to be reduced by 50-60% were unsupportable. The instant costs order is in addition to successive series of orders and judgments passed by the English courts in the matter of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, who had stepped down from being a senior royal of the British Royal Family; thereby having his public-funded security downgraded whilst visiting the UK. The Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) had downgraded his security post his stepping down from his royal duties.


The legal challenge to RAVEC’s decision began in 2021 when the Duke of Sussex filed a claim for judicial review challenging the legality of the afore-stated decisions taken in February 2020 and in early 2021 concerning the arrangements to be made for ensuring his security in the United Kingdom.

In the instant case, the Duke of Sussex claimed that his costs liability to the defendant (Secy. of State) should be subject to a reduction of 50-60% on the ground that despite repeated requests, the defendant delayed sharing relevant documents and information (the updated Terms of Reference and Other VIP Category) with him, due to which the claimant had to amend his grounds of claim and file further evidence. The claim thereafter was focused on the amended grounds of challenge. Prince Harry also claimed that the costs order should reflect the “the unjustified, late disclosure; the additional costs and delay and his partial success” in the judicial review. The claimant submitted that the defendant’s late disclosure has resulted in significant additional costs for both parties.

Analysis and Judgment

The Court found that the REVAC failed to inform the claimant at the pre-action stage of the fact that the only publicly available document describing the functions of REVAC- the 2008 Terms of Reference, were not operational, and the relevant document was the 2021 Terms of Reference.

The Court considered that the defendant can be properly criticised for their failure to inform the claimant of the existence of the updated and relevant Terms. The Court said that any information that is relevant cannot be withheld by the defendant, irrespective of the fact that the court may later find it to be unfavourable to the claimant. The Court thus concluded that the claimant was entitled to an earlier disclosure of the Terms of Refrence documents and information.

The King’s Bench considered that the defendant’s failure was a breach of duty of candour, which has been enshrined in the Practice Direction 54A 9.1(3). However, as to the extent of culpability, the Court considered that there was no bad faith or motive involved in defendant’s failure to disclose the concerned information, as it was driven by interest of safety of the persons concerned under the documents and information in question. The Court was unpersuaded that the defendant’s failure led to as severe consequences as asserted by the claimant.

Regarding the claimant’s submissions, the Court observed that there was a great deal of unsupported speculation, and that this judicial review has had an extremely complex procedural history.

Sir Peter Lane, J., held that it was certain that the claimant’s submission of costs liability subject to reduction of 50-60% was unsupportable, and that the defendant’s breaches of not disclosing the documents and information to the claimant were sanctionable. Addressing these breaches, the Court reduced the award of costs to the defendant payable by the claimant by 10%.

[The King v The Secretary of State for the Home Department, AC/2021/LON/002527, decided on 08-04-2024]

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.