A5.606 Case management powers
The First-tier Tribunal has detailed administrative powers to1:
• manage the proceedings before it
• amend its own directions
• direct the filing of evidence, and
• 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'.
Case management hearings are held to ensure that cases are ready to proceed to the hearing and to prevent unnecessary adjournments, and these will generally be held at the discretion of the tribunal. It is anticipated that case management hearings will be held in complex appeals although there may be the need to hold some in standard cases.
The tribunal may
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