Criminal Procedure Act 1986 No 209
Division 4 Costs
In this Part—professional costs means costs (other than court costs) relating to professional expenses and disbursements (including witnesses’ expenses) in respect of proceedings before a court.
211A Imposition of court costs levy
(1) An accused person who is convicted of an offence in summary proceedings before a court is, by virtue of the conviction, liable to pay a court costs levy that is of the amount prescribed by the regulations.(2) However, a court costs levy is not payable in relation to any of the following—(a) a conviction resulting in the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment (unless the execution of the sentence is suspended by the court),(b) an order under section 10 (1) (a) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 in relation to an offence that is not punishable by imprisonment,(c) a finding of guilt in relation to a traffic offence (within the meaning of section 210 of this Act) by the Local Court when dealing with the accused person under Division 4 of Part 3 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987,(d) a conviction in proceedings before the Drug Court,(e) a conviction that the regulations exempt from liability to pay the levy.(3) A convicted person who is under the age of 18 years is not liable to pay the court costs levy if the court directs that the person is exempt from liability to pay the levy in respect of the conviction. Such a direction may be made when the court convicts the person, or at any time afterwards.(4) The court costs levy is in addition to, and does not form part of, any pecuniary penalty imposed in respect of the offence.(5) The court costs levy is to be paid to the registrar of the court. The registrar is to pay the levy to the prosecutor if court costs have been paid by the prosecutor in respect of the proceedings.(6) The commencement of any proceedings by way of appeal against, or review of, a conviction in respect of which the court costs levy has been imposed on a person stays the liability of the person to pay the levy. In such a case—(a) the setting aside of any such conviction annuls that liability, and(b) the dismissal of any such proceedings removes the stay of liability.(7) To avoid doubt, this section extends to—(a) proceedings conducted in the absence of the accused person, and(b) proceedings in which a person who was under the age of 18 years when an offence was allegedly committed pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, an offence in proceedings before a court, but not if the person is dealt with under Division 4 of Part 3 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987.(8) In this section, a reference to a person being convicted includes a reference to an order being made in relation to the person under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.Note 1.This section does not apply in respect of criminal proceedings before the Children’s Court (see section 27 (2A) of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987). Section 42A of that Act provides for the Children’s Court to make orders regarding court costs at its discretion.Note 2.Section 4 of the Fines Act 1996 provides that a court costs levy payable under this section is, for the purposes of that Act, taken to be a fine imposed by the court that convicted the person or found the person guilty.
212 When costs may be awarded
(1) A court may award costs in criminal proceedings only in accordance with this Act.(2) This Act does not affect the payment of costs under the Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1967.Note.The Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1967 contains procedures by which an accused person may obtain payment of costs from Government funds after acquittal or discharge or the quashing of a conviction.
213 When professional costs may be awarded to accused persons
(1) A court may at the end of summary proceedings order that the prosecutor pay professional costs to the registrar of the court, for payment to the accused person, if the matter is dismissed or withdrawn.(2) The amount of professional costs is to be the amount that the Magistrate considers to be just and reasonable.(3) Without limiting the operation of subsection (1), a court may order that the prosecutor in summary proceedings pay professional costs if the matter is dismissed because—(a) the prosecutor fails to appear or both the prosecutor and the accused person fail to appear, or(b) the matter is withdrawn or the proceedings are for any reason invalid.(4) (Repealed)(5) The order must specify the amount of professional costs payable.
214 Limit on award of professional costs to accused person against prosecutor acting in public capacity
(1) Professional costs are not to be awarded in favour of an accused person in summary proceedings unless the court is satisfied as to any one or more of the following—(a) that the investigation into the alleged offence was conducted in an unreasonable or improper manner,(b) that the proceedings were initiated without reasonable cause or in bad faith or were conducted by the prosecutor in an improper manner,(c) that the prosecutor unreasonably failed to investigate (or to investigate properly) any relevant matter of which it was aware or ought reasonably to have been aware and which suggested either that the accused person might not be guilty or that, for any other reason, the proceedings should not have been brought,(d) that, because of other exceptional circumstances relating to the conduct of the proceedings by the prosecutor, it is just and reasonable to award professional costs.(2) This section does not apply to the awarding of costs against a prosecutor acting in a private capacity.(3) An officer of an approved charitable organisation under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 is taken not to be acting in a private capacity if the officer acts as the prosecutor in any proceedings under that Act or section 9 (1) of the Veterinary Practice Act 2003.
215 When professional costs may be awarded to prosecutor
(1) A court may at the end of summary proceedings order that the accused person pay the following costs to the registrar of the court, for payment to the prosecutor, if the accused person is convicted or an order is made against the accused person—(a) such professional costs as the court considers just and reasonable,(b) (Repealed)(1A) The court may not order the accused person to pay professional costs referred to in subsection (1) (a) if the conviction or order concerned relates to an offence—(a) for which a penalty notice, within the meaning of section 20 of the Fines Act 1996, has been issued, and(b) in respect of which the person has elected to have the matter dealt with by a court, and(c) in respect of which the person has lodged a written plea of guilty, in accordance with section 182, not later than 7 days before the date on which the person is required to first attend before the court.(1B) Subsection (1A) does not apply in relation to proceedings for an offence against the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 or the regulations under that Act.(2) (Repealed)(3) The order must specify the amount of costs payable.(4) For the purposes of this section, an accused person is taken to have been convicted if an order is made under Division 4 of Part 3 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 or under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. The order for costs may be in the order under the relevant section.(5) This section applies to all summary proceedings, including orders made in proceedings conducted in the absence of the accused person.
216 Costs on adjournment
(1) A court may in any summary proceedings, at its discretion or on the application of a party, order that one party pay costs if the matter is adjourned.(2) An order may be made only if the court is satisfied that the other party has incurred additional costs because of the unreasonable conduct or delays of the party against whom the order is made.(3) The order must specify the amount of costs payable or may provide for the determination of the amount at the end of the proceedings.(4) An order may be made whatever the result of the proceedings.
217 Enforcement of costs orders
An order made by a court under this Division for the payment of costs is taken to be a fine within the meaning of the Fines Act 1996.
218 Public officers and police officers not personally liable for costs
(1) A public officer or a police officer is entitled to be indemnified by the State for any costs awarded against the officer personally as the prosecutor in any criminal proceedings in a court in which the officer is acting in his or her capacity as a public officer or a police officer.(2) In this section—public officer does not include a councillor or an employee of a council or any other person prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.