Part 6: Draft Regulations Setting Out Eligibility Criteria For Appointment Of Ordinary Members Of The First-Tier Tribunal For Scotland: Medical And Disability Experience
45. The draft regulations contained in Annex E prescribe eligibility criteria for appointment of ordinary members of the FtT with medical and disability experience. These members will be responsible for deciding cases before the Social Security Chamber.
46. The criteria for legal membership of the FtT are set down in the Scottish Tribunals (Eligibility for Appointment) Regulations 2015 and are generic across the FtT. Briefly, a person may be appointed as a legal member if the person is currently practising and has practised as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland for a period of not less than 5 years. Alternatively, a person may be appointed as such if they have previously practised as a solicitor or advocate for a period of not less than 5 years and, subsequent to that, have been engaged in related activities such as exercising judicial functions in a court or tribunal or teaching or researching law at an educational institution. As a result of these generic criteria, we do not need to make any specific provision for legal membership in relation to the Social Security Chamber. The Eligibility for Appointment Regulations also lay down generic criteria which apply to the appointment of legal members of the Upper Tribunal for Scotland.
47. The draft regulations contained in Annex E set out the criteria which it is proposed will be applied when appointing ordinary members of the FtT who will decide cases before the Social Security Chamber.
48. The eligibility criteria are that members should either be registered medical practitioners or should have experience of the needs of persons who have a disability. That experience may be gained as a result of the member themself having a disability, or through working with people who have a disability. Any work may be undertaken in a professional or a voluntary capacity; a formal qualification in relation to disability is not necessarily required. Alternatively, disability experience may be gained as a result of providing care to a person who has a disability, otherwise than in the context of undertaking work.
49. In referring to persons with a disability, we intend to capture those falling within section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. In terms of that Act, people have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and detrimental effect, on a long-term basis, on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Do you have any comments on the proposals regarding eligibility criteria for appointment of ordinary members of the First-tier Tribunal with medical and disability experience?
(a) can you envisage a situation in which a person may have gained experience of the needs of people with disabilities, but which may not be covered by the criteria set out in the draft regulations?
(b) do you have any concerns about our proposed approach to identifying when a person will be considered to have a disability?
Do you have any other comments you wish to make on the draft eligibility for appointment regulations?