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Tribunals: Witnesses

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what remedies there are for expert witnesses before tribunals who consider that their professional reputation has been damaged by statements made (a) in tribunal judgments and (b) by those presiding over the tribunal, with particular reference to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. (243471)

Judgments by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, like all tribunals, are protected by absolute privilege. If parties to or persons associated with an appeal wish to complain about the conduct, including statements made, of a tribunal judge or member, they should contact the relevant tribunal office who will inform them whether their complaint should be sent to the tribunal president, if one exists, or to the Office for Judicial Complaints.

Complaints are dealt with in accordance with the Judicial Complaints (Tribunals) (No. 2) Rules 2008. Tribunal presidents who receive complaints, investigate them in accordance with these Rules and, if it is considered that there may be a case for formal disciplinary action, they will refer the case to the Office for Judicial Complaints. The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice will then consider the evidence and decide what action, if any, should be taken.