Introduction to VAT appeals

V5.400 The Tribunals structure

On 18 May 2000 the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, appointed Sir Andrew Leggatt to undertake a review of tribunals and to report by 31 March 2001. Sir Andrew's terms of reference were as follows:

'To review the delivery of justice through tribunals other than ordinary courts of law, constituted under an Act of Parliament by a Minister of the Crown or for purposes of a Minister's functions; in resolving disputes, whether between citizens and the state, or between other parties, so as to ensure that:

There are fair, timely, proportionate and effective arrangements for handling those disputes, within an effective framework for decision-making which encourages the systematic development of the area of law concerned, and which forms a coherent structure, together with the superior courts, for the delivery of administrative justice;

The administrative and practical arrangements for supporting those decision-making procedures meet the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights for independence and impartiality;

There are adequate arrangements for improving people's knowledge and understanding of their rights and responsibilities in relation to such disputes, and that tribunals and other bodies function in a way which makes those rights and responsibilities a reality;

The arrangements for the funding and management of tribunals and other bodies by Government departments are efficient, effective and economical; and pay due regard both to judicial independence, and to ministerial responsibility for the administration of public funds;

Performance standards for tribunals are coherent, consistent, and public; and effective measures for monitoring

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