I am pleased to publish today the sixth report by the president of appeal tribunals on the standard of decisions made on behalf of the Secretary of State in cases which come before appeal tribunals. The major reasons given for appeal tribunals overturning or amending decisions were that new evidence was produced at the hearing or the tribunal took a different view of the same evidence.
During the past year, various agencies have been actively working with the judiciary on initiatives to improve the decision-making process. The president acknowledges that the standard of decision making overall was good but, where decisions were overturned, it was often because they were based on insufficient evidence. The president has recommended that the agencies should make direct contact with the appellant to encourage them to provide additional evidence earlier in the process.
This will be the final president’s report published by this department; as from 1 April 2006, the responsibility for appeal tribunals transferred to the Department for Constitutional Affairs. Future reports will be issued by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.
Copies of this report are available in the Library and on the internet at www.tribunals.gov.uk.