Proportionate Dispute Resolution Special Edition
Welcome to the latest special edition of 'Adjust'. In this edition, as well as our usual features and news articles, we focus on Proportionate Dispute Resolution (PDR) in Tribunals and the broader administrative justice arena.
Survey Report: The Use of Proportionate Dispute Resolution in Tribunals
In the lead up to becoming the AJTC, the Council on Tribunals conducted a survey on the use of 'alternative' and 'proportionate' dispute resolution techniques in tribunals. The results of the survey are here.
The AJTC is very interested to hear from other jurisdictions or participants in the administrative justice arena who have examples of good practice to share, or projects they are piloting, which may be included in future editions of Adjust.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Pilots
Jeremy Tickle, of the Tribunals Service Business Development Directorate, outlines the judicial mediation pilot currently being undertaken in the Employment Tribunal and the early neutral evaluation pilot being undertaken in the Social Security and Child Support Appeals Tribunal. more >
Residential Property Tribunal Service Mediation Pilot
Gareth Spicer of the London Rent Assessment Panel discusses the recently completed successful mediation pilot conducted by the Residential Property Tribunal Service. more >
Professor Karl Mackie
What's in a name? Proportionate Dispute Resolution
The Chief Executive of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) talks to AJTC member Bernard Quoroll on the definition of PDR, and provides advice for policy makers on designing and delivering dispute resolution services. more >
Housing Ombudsman: Enabling Early Dispute Resolution
Mike Biles, the Housing Ombudsman, explains how his office has recently reviewed its core processes which it hopes will result in a new, better quality and more efficient dispute resolution system – one that 'enables early and fair dispute resolution in housing'. more >
Mind the Gap... Mediation and Judicial Review
Val Reid, a member of the Public Law Project research team, discusses a current study of the role of mediation in judicial review. more >
Ministry of Justice: Pledge Report on ADR
On 15 January 2008 the Ministry of Justice published its Annual Pledge Report 2006/07, 'Monitoring the Effectiveness of the Government's Commitment to using Alternative Dispute Resolution'. The report revisits Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine's 2001 pledge to promote the use of ADR by government departments and reviews the government's progress in this regard. Read the report here.
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Lessons from Ombudsmania
Steve Brooker of the National Consumer Council looks at the private sector Ombudsmen landscape, asking whether it is delivering for customers and identifying areas for improvement. more >
Impact of Legal Aid Proposals on Mental Health Representation
The Director of the Community Legal Service responds to Richard Charlton's previous Adjust article on the impact of legal aid proposals on mental health representation. more >
Bernard Quoroll – Member, AJTC
Beyond Leggatt – Where next for the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council?
In a follow up to his previous Adjust article titled 'We've come a long way since Franks – but the journey is not yet over' Bernard Quoroll, a member of the AJTC, argues that administrative justice should be broadly defined and reflects on what this will mean for the AJTC. more >
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Scottish Mediation Register
The Scottish Mediation Register is a web-based listing of mediators who self certify that they meet minimum standards. It was set up by key mediation organisations to provide clear information about what each registered mediator has achieved in a standard format that can be easily compared, in order to provide reassurance on the quality of mediators and mediation services. Ewan Malcolm, Director of the Register, provides more information on the project. more >
Scottish Tribunal Training Register – 4th edition
The Scottish Committee of the AJTC published the 4th edition of the Scottish Tribunal Training Register in January 2008. The Register is compiled from information provided by the various tribunals that operate in Scotland. The Register provides a snapshot of the training material provided by tribunals to their members. The Scottish Committee is grateful to all those who took the time and effort to provide a contribution to the Register. Copies of the Register can be obtained from: The Scottish Committee, George House, 126 George St, Edinburgh; Telephone 01312714300. The Register is also available to download from the AJTC website here.
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Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals: Literacy Project
Linda Gehrke, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal discusses an initiative of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals to develop material and resources to assist administrative tribunals in meeting the needs of clients who have low literacy levels. more >
Issues Paper: Tribunals in New Zealand
The New Zealand Law Commission on 16 January 2008 released 'Tribunals in New Zealand' - an issues paper which reviews New Zealand's existing tribunal arrangements. It sets out the problems with current arrangements, summarises the way in which some other countries have dealt with similar problems, and sets out various options for reform. The issues paper can be downloaded here.
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Will parents be facing an anxious time this year?
Schools Admissions Appeals have been a hot topic in the news and with government lately. John Chard, of Schools Appeals, an organisation which provides a range of services to parents looking to appeal an admission decision, provides practical advice to parents on the appeals process, and how to maximise their chances of success. more >
Tribunal Urges Compliance with New Admissions Code
The Schools Minister, Jim Knight, recently urged school admission authorities to comply with the new mandatory School Admissions Code, citing the latest Annual Report of the Schools Adjudicator which reported instances of school admission authorities continuing to breach the legislation and the guidance in the new Code. Mr Knight urged authorities to get their admissions policies for 2009 in line by 15 April 2008, the date by which they must be finalised. He also welcomed the publication of the new mandatory Admission Appeals Code, which aims to bring greater legal force, clarity and independence to the appeals system.
-Read Mr Knight's Press Release in full here.
-Read the Schools Adjudicator's Annual report here (pdf).
-Download a copy of the new Admission Appeals Code here.
Establishment of the Charity Tribunal
In November 2007 the Cabinet Office published the 'Charities Act 2006, Updated implementation plan'. This report sets out the government's updated timetable for the implementation of the Charities Act and the fulfilment of other commitments made during its passage through Parliament. The report says that the Charity Tribunal is expected to be established in February 2008. Read the report in full here (pdf).
NAO: Compensating Victims of Crime
The National Audit Office (NAO) released 'Compensating victims of violent crime', a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General in December 2007. The report considers whether the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel provide a more cost effective and better quality service to victims of violent crimes than they did when the NAO and the Public Accounts Committee last reported on this subject in 200. Read the report here (pdf).
New parking provisions under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act will come into force in England on 31 March 2008. The Act provides a single framework for the civil enforcement by local authorities of parking and waiting restrictions, bus lane restrictions and some moving traffic offences, with provision of appeals to adjudicators. View the 2004 Act here (pdf).
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Statutory Prisons Ombudsman Scheme Withdrawn
In the House of Lords Second Reading speech of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, Lord Hunt announced that Parts 4 and 5 of the Bill will be withdrawn. These parts intended to place the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales and the Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland on a statutory footing. This move would have altered what would have previously been a purely administrative appointment. Both the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the current non-statutory Prisons Ombudsmen had expressed concerns about the independence and accountability of the proposed statutory Ombudsman. Lord Hunt stated that the government will only proceed with Parts 4 and 5 of the Bill with consensus and that in the absence of such consensus he would table amendments withdrawing these two parts. Lord Hunt said that the government would now move into a period of further consultation with interested parties. Read Lord Hunt's Second Reading speech here.
British and Irish Ombudsman Association Annual Meeting
The British and Irish Ombudsman Association will hold its Association dinner and Annual Meeting on 8 and 9 May 2008 in Edinburgh. The Annual Meeting will focus on 'Ombudsmen and the changing world in which we operate'. All those with an interest in Ombudsmen and complaint handlers are welcome to attend, but registration is necessary. view details (pdf)
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Consumer Redress Schemes in Gas, Electricity and Postal Services
In December 2007 the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform released its response to the 'Consultation on Consumer Redress Schemes in Gas, Electricity and Postal Services'. The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 includes provisions regarding new statutory redress schemes to resolve problems consumers are having with gas, electricity and postal service providers. The consultation sought views on proposals in these areas. Read the government's response here (pdf).
Towards a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
On 21 January 2008 Jack Straw gave a speech exploring the notion of a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. He mentioned the possibility of legislating a right to administrative justice. Read more here.
Employment: 'Rooting out the Rogues'
The Citizens Advice Bureau and Citizens Advice Scotland have released an evidence briefing explaining why vulnerable workers and good employers need a 'fair employment commission'. View their brief here.
Planning applications and Ministerial decisions
The Department for Communities and Local Government published a consultation paper on 'The Review of 'Call in' Directions' on 7 January 2008. The paper sets out proposals aimed at reducing the number of planning applications automatically referred to government for consideration of whether they should be 'called in' for Ministerial decision. It is intended to ensure that Ministerial involvement takes place only where necessary, and that all decisions are taken at the appropriate level. Read the report here.
Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board Consultation
The Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) has undertaken a review of the arrangements under its disciplinary scheme for the accountancy profession. Following the review the AADB has proposed a number of changes to the accountancy scheme. Access the consultation on these proposed changes here.
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New Year Honours List
- AJTC member Penny Letts who was awarded the OBE for services to vulnerable people;
- His Honour Judge Michael Harris, lately President of the Social Security & Child Support Appeals Tribunal and currently President of the Gender Recognition Panel, who received a knighthood for public service;
- David Lavery, Director General, Northern Ireland Court Service, who was awarded a CB;
- Michael Gibbons, of the Better Regulation Commission, who received an OBE for services to regulatory reform;
- Nuala O'Loan, lately Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, who was awarded a DBE for public service; and
- Dr Thomas Frawley, Northern Ireland Ombudsman, who was awarded a CBE for public services in Northern Ireland.
Farewell to Diana Worman - Longstanding Editor of Adjust
Adjust bids farewell to its longstanding Editor, Diana Worman. Diana took over the editing of Adjust in its third edition, back in 2005. She played a pivotal role in expanding our local and international readership and transforming Adjust into its present format – a wide-ranging collection of local and international administrative justice features and news. The AJTC wishes Diana well in her travels, and thanks her for her tremendous contribution to the development of Adjust.
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