Justices will be able to make an order for costs in favour of the Access to Justice Foundation, the charity which funds pro bono representation, in cases from England and Wales where the successful party is represented on a pro bono basis.

Previously, Justices were unable to make a costs order in a pro bono case because technically no legal costs were incurred.

The change in the law, introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, brings the Supreme Court into line with other civil courts, which have been able to make pro bono costs orders since the Legal Services Act 2007 came into force.

The new arrangements apply to appeals against court orders made after 1 October 2012, so will only affect new Supreme Court cases.