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More powers for Upper Tribunal’s employed lawyers


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The Senior President of Tribunals has issued a new Practice Statement on the powers of lawyers who work directly for the Upper Tribunal. The document replaces an older version from December 2013. The new one “widens the functions delegated to UTIAC lawyers and amends the definition of ‘legally qualified'”.

The list of things that tribunal lawyers can do on behalf of judges is now considerably longer. New additions to the list are:

g. Making orders in respect of costs (or, in Scotland, expenses), on application by a party, but not where the application relates to a decision made by a judge;

h. Making orders under rule 14, prohibiting the disclosure or publication of documents or information;

i. Giving directions under rule 15(1) and 15(2A) in relation to the giving of oral or written evidence and submissions;

j. Summoning witnesses under rule 16 and issuing orders to persons to answer questions or produce documents;

o. Treating, under rule 48, an application as a different type of application;

p. Appointing a person as a litigation friend, where the appointment is not opposed by a party, pursuant to the case of R (on the application of JS and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (litigation friend – child) [2019] UKUT 64 (IAC) which describes the power of the Upper Tribunal to appoint a litigation friend.

To compensate for the increased power of non-judges, parties can now ask for a decision made by a tribunal lawyer to be “considered afresh” by a judge.

Download the Practice Statement (pdf) here.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.