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Courts and Tribunals proceedings revised for Covid-19

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The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has published a practice direction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to apply on a pilot basis for an initial six-month period in relation to appeals and applications in the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. This considers how tribunals may need to adjust their ways of working to limit the spread of the virus.

Judge Greg Sinfield, president of the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), has outlined the conduct of proceedings in the following terms:

  • until further notice, there will be no hearings at which persons are physically present in any proceedings in the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal;
  • all applications and substantive appeals will be dealt with on papers/email as far as possible and decided by a judge sitting alone;
  • if a matter cannot be dealt with on papers, a hearing by telephone (or video if available) will be arranged as soon as possible;
  • if a case is not suitable for hearing by telephone or video then it will be listed for a physical hearing on a date in the future when it is safe to do so; and
  • for the time being, a hearing involving physical attendance may take place only if a judge decides that it is a priority case and necessary to do so in all the circumstances.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has announced that all non-critical tribunal work is being stopped. All hearings that have been scheduled will be postponed and any essential, time-critical hearings will be changed to telephone hearings. Any individuals directly affected by the changes will be contacted by SCTS.

Issue: 1481
Categories: News