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If you find yourself involved in a tribunal, whether you’re a practitioner, or member of the tribunal, or a participant in any other respect, you will find this book of immense help – in fact, well nigh indispensable. Recently published by Jordan’s it has already been referred to as the definitive work on this now weighty subject and in our view, so it is.
The two-tier tribunal system, as we now know it, was established by the Tribunal, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and came into force in 3 November 2008.
As the authors point out, ‘the Act marked an important step in the evolution of the relationship between the executive and the individual in this country,’ ‘The new tribunal system forms an important part of this changed relationship,’ they add, commenting further that the said relationship is now more responsible, responsive and accountable.
Covering all aspects of the tribunal, the book encompasses the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal. Practitioners will recognize that the First-tier Tribunal is currently divided into six chambers to include such matters as health education and social care, immigration and asylum, social entitlement, war pensions and armed forces compensation and tax.
Chambers of the Upper Tribunal include administrative appeals, immigration and asylum, lands, tax and chancery. The functions of each are of course explained lucidly and in detail.
Also examined in detail, specifically in Part I, are the various aspects of the conduct of a tribunal, from the preparatory process and the hearing itself to such matters as evidence, the decision, the challenging of decisions and appeals.
Costs, representation and enforcement are also covered. It should be mentioned that the book does not cover employment tribunals which actually fall under a separate category emanating from what were originally referred to as ‘industrial tribunals’ and excluded as mentioned on page 22 of the book because they are seen as a rather separate type of Tribunal.
The latter section of this hardback volume of more than 900 pages is divided into seven parts which cover – and we are listing them here – statutes, statutory instruments, practice directions, practice statements and forms. Part 6 provides guidance notes made by the President of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).
Furthermore, as you would expect of a volume of this scope and stature, there are extensive tables of cases, statutes, statutory instruments, practice statements and practice directions. The book is nonetheless easily navigable, with each chapter prefaced with its own individual table of contents and a detailed general table of contents at the front.
For those charged with the responsibilities of tribunal work, this is a formidable yet readable and accessible work of reference. The law is stated as up to date to 31 September 2012.
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
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