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What is the difference between a Costs Assessment and Court Proceedings?

What is the difference between a Costs Assessment and Court Proceedings?

Vumbaca v Sultana [2012] NSWDC 237 (14 December 2012) discusses the nature of costs assessment. The case provides a useful summary of the differences between costs assessment and court proceedings:

  1. Costs assessments are not officers of the Court
  2. Costs assessors are practicing solicitors and barristers, employed as costs assessors on a part-time basis
  3. Costs assessor’s costs are usually (but not always) paid by the parties
  4. Costs assessment is paper-driven with no appearances
  5. There are no ‘rules of procedure’ unlike the Court system
  6. There is an application on a prescribed form but other documents are not specified
  7. Costs assessor cannot take sworn evidence or compel the attendance of a witness
  8. Costs assessments are not court proceedings
  9. Costs assessor’s reasons are not published.