Allocation of Functions Regulations: re-naming
79. The draft Establishment and Functions Regulations as consulted upon set out that the new chamber was being established and what its functions would be. On reflection, it seems that all that is needed is Regulations which allocate certain functions to the new chamber. The chamber itself is brought into being by amending the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Chambers) Regulations 2016. Appropriate amending Regulations were included in the package of Regulations at consultation and so there was, in effect, duplication of provision. On a general level, respondents were supportive of the new chamber being created and the functions that were to be allocated to it.
80. The Allocation of Functions Regulations include a transitional provision excluding the application of section 21(2) of the 2014 Act on a temporary basis. Section 21(2) prevents the same person from being president of more than one chamber of the First-tier Tribunal at the same time. The purpose of the exclusion is to allow an existing chamber president to take on the role of temporary president of the new chamber. This is the product of further thought and discussion during the consultation period. The transitional provision was not included in the draft Regulations as consulted upon.
81. It is anticipated that the temporary president will be in place during delivery of the first wave of benefits, including Best Start Grant and Funeral Expense Assistance. A dedicated chamber president will be appointed in time for when the second wave of benefits, including disability benefits, begins to be delivered. This is a sensible and proportionate approach, given that relatively low numbers of appeals are anticipated in relation to the first wave of benefits. It will also enable the expertise of an existing chamber president to be brought to the newly established chamber.
82. The draft Composition Regulations as consulted upon set out that when determining cases at Upper Tribunal, the panel can consist of a maximum of up to two members in different permutations. These have been adjusted in response to feedback from the consultation that there be provision for cases to be heard by panels comprising up to three members of the Upper Tribunal, rather than being restricted always to two members.
Email: Naeem Bhatti
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