Trinidad Cement Ltd Claimant v The Competition Commission Defendant

CourtCaribbean Court of Justice
Docket NumberCCJ Application No OA 1 of 2012
Judgment Date29 May 2013
JurisdictionCaribbean States
Neutral Citation[2013] CCJ 2 OJ

[2013] CCJ 2 (OJ)


CCJ Application No OA 1 of 2012

Trinidad Cement Limited
The Competition Commission

composed of D Byron, President and A Saunders, D Bernard, J Wit and W Anderson, Judges

having regard to the order made on the 12 th day of November 2012, requesting written submissions as to costs and to the written submissions filed on behalf of the Claimant on the 3 rd day of December 2012 and the written submissions and authorities filed on behalf of the Defendant on the 29 th day of November 2012

issues on the 29 th day of May 2013 the following


On the 12 th day of November 2012 this Court dismissed the claim made in the originating application and refused the declarations and orders sought in respect of the actions and decisions of the Defendant and ordered the parties to file and exchange written submissions on the issue of costs within 21 days.


In its written submissions the Claimant argued that the most appropriate order for costs is that the Commission should bear its own costs and a part of the Claimant's costs. In support of this the Claimant contended that ‘each party succeeded on some and failed on other heads’ and that the circumstances are exceptional within the meaning of Part 30.1(3) and (4) of the Rules. The Claimant also argued that the Defendant's conduct prior to and in the course of the proceedings unreasonably caused the Claimant to incur the costs of commencing the proceedings.


The Defendant submitted that the Claimant should be ordered to pay the Defendant's full costs to be agreed or assessed. It relied on the principle set out in Part 30.1(2)(a) of the Rules that an unsuccessful party should pay the costs of the successful party provided that the successful party had applied for costs in its pleading. The Defendant also argued that there were no exceptional circumstances to warrant the making of an order apportioning costs of the matter.


The Court has already made a number of costs orders and has commenced to develop the principles on which it would act. The governing rule is set out in Part 30.1. Sub-rule 3 permits the Court where each party succeeds on some heads, or the circumstances are exceptional, to order that the costs are shared or that each party bear their own costs. Sub-rule 4 permits the Court in exceptional circumstances to order that the successful party bear the full costs of the proceedings, where the party has vexatiously caused the proceedings to be commenced.


There have been a number of cases in which the Court has exercised the powers in sub-rule 3 and made orders for the sharing of costs. In TCL v The Caribbean Community1a case in which the Applicant was successful in obtaining one of the declaratory orders for which it had claimed, the Court considered that it had acted properly in bringing the action. It also considered that the action was important not only to the Applicant but to the entire private sector in the region to obtain the pronouncement of the Court on the matters raised. The costs order was for the Community to bear one half of the costs of the Applicant. In TCL and TCL Guyana Inc v The Co-operative Republic of Guyana2 the Applicants were successful in obtaining declaratory and mandatory orders. Guyana was ordered to pay two thirds of the Applicants' costs. In TCL and TCL Guyana...

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