Commentary

A5.606 Case management powers

Administration and compliance

A5.606 Case management powers

A5.606 Case management powers

The First-tier Tribunal has detailed administrative powers to1:

  1.  

    •     manage the proceedings before it

  2.  

    •     amend its own directions

  3.  

    •     direct the filing of evidence, and

  4.  

    •     arrange case management hearings

In Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP (No 3)2, the tribunal rejected an application by the appellant partnership to exclude a witness statement by a chartered accountant, which HMRC had submitted in evidence. In The Leasing No 1 Partnership3, the tribunal rejected an application by HMRC to exclude some paragraphs of an accountant's witness statement, which the appellant partnership had submitted in evidence. However, in Deloitte LLP4, the First-tier Tribunal decided not to admit as evidence an expert report which covered contested legal issues. In Tricor plc5, the appellant company applied for the judge hearing the appeal to be recused, contending that decisions which he had reached in similar cases indicated that he was biased in favour of HMRC. The recusal application was heard by a different judge (Judge Berner) who dismissed it, finding that 'there is nothing in the conduct of the proceedings to suggest otherwise than that the Judge has acted with scrupulous fairness throughout'.

In Padfield6 the taxpayers' solicitors challenged the judge's impartiality and asked that he recuse himself from the hearing, alleging that he intervened too much in the questioning of a key witness such that a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that he was biased. The judge did not recuse, and gave a robust response

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