Legal Changes To DWP Tribunals

Govt Newspeak

The government is making legal changes to allow tribunal staff to carry out some of the functions which are currently the role of judges. In addition, the President of the Tribunals Service will have the power to decide on the composition of tribunals, including the number of people sitting on them.

The Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill had its first reading last week. It has two main effects.

It will “increase the routine judicial work undertaken by ‘case officers’to enable judges to concentrate on more complex matters.”.

In other words, clerks will be able to undertake functions currently exercised by judges. That could, for example, relate to issues such as whether to postpone a hearing or require the DWP to provide specific evidence about a case.

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It will also “enable greater cross-deployment of staff between jurisdictions…

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