Generally, the practice in the ERD Court is for each party to pay their own costs. However, the court may order costs against the losing party in any proceedings where it is the opinion of the court that the proceedings are frivolous or vexatious, or the proceedings have been instituted for delay or obstruction. It is worth noting that this power has never been exercised in the lifetime of the ERD Court. It is generally safe to assume that any person who brings an appeal in good faith will not be ordered to pay the other side's legal costs, even if their case was hopeless from the start.
It is important to note that the attitude of the Court towards legal costs will depend on the nature of the dispute as well as the conduct of the parties. Costs will usually be awarded against the losing party in civil enforcement or judicial review cases. There is also some interstate and Federal precedent for the idea that public interest litigants should be protected from adverse costs orders, however this has not been fully tested in South Australian courts.
In all cases, the person bringing the legal action will have to pay statutory Court filing costs. In the ERD Court currently, the cost to lodge an appeal (as at 1 July 2014) is $217 plus $238 if the matter proceeds to trial. In the Supreme Court, the cost to lodge an appeal is currently (at 1 July 2014), $2323.
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