MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
News Release (Date:041/08) issued by The Government News Network on
19 May 2008
A radical shake-up
of the tribunals system was unveiled by the Government today.
Individual tribunal jurisdictions doing similar work will be
brought together into a radically simplified two tier tribunals
system - consisting of a First Tier and Upper Tribunal that goes
live on 3 November 2008.
This new system, headed by Lord Justice Carnwarth as Senior
President, will speed up justice, make the process easier for the
public to understand and bring together the considerable expertise
that exists in each tribunal jurisdiction.
Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said:
"Bringing individual tribunals into a single integrated
system is at the heart of the most radical change to the tribunal
system in 50 years.
"This truly modern and unified service will help people to
find their way around the system and get solutions to their issues
more quickly and efficiently.
"Tribunals often form the public's only experience of
the legal process and it vital that experience is effective and
serves their needs. These reforms will not come at the expense of
continuity, specialisation or service to users."
Following a consultation on implementing the Tribunals Courts and
Enforcement (TCE) Act proposals to create five First Tier Tribunal
Chambers and three Upper Tribunal Chambers will be taken forward.
Two Chambers from the First Tier, the Social Entitlement Chamber
and the Health Education & Social Care Chamber will commence
on 3 November 2008.
The Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal will
be separate from the First Tier and Upper Tribunal, although there
will be close links between them. The Government is currently
considering bringing the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal into the
unified tribunals structure and is likely to consult on this shortly.
The Upper Tribunal will be a Superior Court of Record that can
deal with onward appeals and judicial reviews.
The Tribunals Service, an executive agency within the Ministry of
Justice will continue to provide an integrated administration of
the new tribunal system. Implementing the TCE Act is an integral
part of the Tribunals Service's Transforming Tribunals
Programme, which includes the introduction, later this year, of
multi-jurisdictional hearing centres in major towns and cities
created to provide a range of services to tribunal users.
Notes to Editors
1. The Government response to the consultation on the
implementation of the TCE Act is available at: http://www.justice.gsi.gov.uk
2. The Chambers in the First Tier are:
* Social Entitlement;
* General Regulatory;
Education and Social Care;
* Taxation; and
Property and Housing.
3. The three Upper Tribunal Chambers are:
* Administrative Appeals;
* Lands; and
* Finance and Tax.
4. The TCE Act created a 'Tribunals Procedure
Committee' that will be established on 19 May 2008 to make
and amend rules governing the practice and procedure in the
First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. The Lord Chancellor, the
Lord Chief Justice, the Lord President and the Senior President of
Tribunals have appointed the following members:
* The Honourable Mr. Justice Elias - President - Employment
* Mark Rowland - Commissioner - Office of the Social Security and
Child Support Commissioners
* Nicholas Warren - Regional Chairman - Social Security and Child
Support Appeals Tribunal
* Lesley Clare - Adjudicator - Criminal Injuries and Compensation
* The Right Honourable Lord Newton of Braintree - Chairman -
Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council
* Carolyn Kirby - The Law Society
* Philip Brook Smith - Bar Pro Bono Unit
* Michael James Reed - Free Representation Unit
* Douglas May - Senior Commissioner - Office of Social Security
& Child Support Commissioners
5. The purpose of the Tribunals Service is to:
* provide a responsive and efficient tribunals administration;
* contribute to the improvement of the quality of decision-making
* reform the tribunals justice system for the benefit of its
customers and the wider public; and
* promote and protect the independence of the judiciary.