A Tribunal Procedure Committee (TPC) consultation closes today on rule changes risk creating a more insular tribunal system, particularly if so-called ‘Cart’ judicial reviews are restricted by the Judicial Review and Courts Bill currently before Parliament.

Read Public Law Project’s consultation response here

The TPC proposal to amend rule 22 of the Upper Tribunal Rules 2008 would mean that where judges make a decision on the papers to certify an appeal application as ‘totally without merit’, the applicant will not be allowed the right of an oral renewal.

PLP is not persuaded that this significant proposal for reform is required or justified.

Coupled with the proposals in the Judicial Review and Courts Bill to restrict the availability of Cart judicial review, removing the right for oral review goes too far in restricting access to justice. Removing the right to an oral renewal of an application for permission to appeal would be a more significant step if the right to apply for judicial review of the refusal of permission is also removed or in some way limited.

As the Judicial Review and Courts Bill has yet to be debated in Parliament, it is unclear whether and to what extent Cart jurisdiction will remain or if these changes will alter the relationship between tribunals and the administrative jurisdiction of the High Court. It is concerning that this consultation is proceeding in the context of this uncertainty. The proposal to amend rule 22 needs to be reconsidered in light of the proposed restriction of the Cart jurisdiction.

Read our full consultation response