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New Practice Statement on what tribunal “caseworkers” can do instead of judges


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There is a new Practice Statement on what tribunal caseworkers (i.e. employed lawyers) can do instead of judges in the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. Some of the functions are definitely ones I would consider to be judicial rather than administrative.

I am not sure what has changed since last time but the list is quite a long one:

  • Case management powers under Rule 4(3)(a), 4(3)(c), 4(3)(d), 4(3)(f), 4(3)(h), 4(3)(i), and 4(3)(k);
  • Striking out of an appeal for non payment of fee and reinstatement under Rule 7;
  • Treating an appeal as abandoned or finally determined under Rule 16;
  • Withdrawal functions under Rule 17 (with the exception of Rule 17(2));
  • Notice of appeal functions under Rule 19 (with the exception of Rule 19(7));
  • Late notice of appeal under Rule 20;
  • Circumstances in which the Tribunal may not accept a notice of appeal under Rule 22;
  • Issuing directions consequent upon any failure to comply with the mandatory requirements under Rules 23 and 24 in relation to entry clearance and other cases;
  • Clerical mistakes and accidental slips or omissions under Rule 31;
  • Bail applications under Rule 38.

I’d infinitely rather have judges deciding some of these questions but anything to speed up the atrocious waiting times is to be welcomed. It is worrying that the justice system is being so starved of resources that the role of judges is being diminished so.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


One Response

  1. In my opinion, Caseworkers who are legally trained could and should be allowed to carry out these functions except for “Bail Applications” due to its complexity and because it requires a more in depth implications to the society of releasing detainees and or keeping some detainees detained. I shall, if permitted states that Caseworkers should equally be allowed to preside over CMR Hearings so as to free up IJ’s.