Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Department of Education and Skills
Departmental Legal Costs
205. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount spent to date by his Department and agencies under his remit appealing the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10821/19]
Leaving Certificate examination candidate Rebecca Carter appealed the result of her Business examination which she sat in June 2018. She claimed that a calculation error in the marking of her paper, which she viewed under the State Examinations Commission’s (SEC) script viewing process on 31 August 2018, resulted in her receiving less marks than she should have received. She was advised by the SEC that the results of her appeal would be available on 10 October 2018, beyond UCD’s deadline of 30 September 2018.
Following this, the claimant sought relief by way of a High Court judicial review, which sought to order that the SEC expedite her appeal and that UCD put a stay on their allocation of places in Veterinary Medicine pending the outcome of the judicial review. Judgement in the case was delivered on 26 September.
The SEC legal team submitted their costs to the Commission on 31 October 2018 for the judicial review case taken by Ms Carter. They totalled €69,265.44 and have been paid in full. Whilst Ms Carter was awarded her costs, these have not yet been agreed upon so no payment has been made to date.
Elements of the judgement delivered are being appealed by both the Minister for Education and Skills and the State Examinations Commission.
The appeal is being taken in the public interest and will have no implications for the Plaintiff, financial or otherwise, who has now secured her place in university.
The legal costs of my Department in the appeal will comprise counsel fees. There is no solicitor legal fee due to the fact that the Chief State Solicitor’s Office provides the solicitor service at no charge to the Department. No fee notes have been received to date.