How much public money has been spent to date by the Welsh Government on legal advice or counsel regarding the parental opt-out for the Relationships and Sexuality Education Code?
£8,955 was the total cost for external counsel’s legal advice in respect of the development of policy options for the removal of the right to withdraw for both Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) and Religion Values and Ethics (RVE) in the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021.
£69,467 was the cost for external counsel’s legal advice and representation in defending the legal challenge in R (Isherwood and Others) V the Welsh Ministers.
However, the Claimants in that case lost on all grounds and at all stages in the court process. As a consequence, the High Court ordered the Claimants to pay the legal costs of £12,000 in respect of their interim application and £50,000 on account pending full assessment in respect of the substantive High Court hearing. To date that amounts to £62,000 to be paid on account with the balance of the legal costs to be assessed. This represents substantial recovery of costs to the Welsh taxpayer.