Permission to judicially review an Upper Tribunal Judge in a social security matter

Monday 19 March 2012

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Desmond Rutledge has been granted permission to apply for judicial review of an Upper Tribunal Judge's refusal to grant permission to appeal in a social security matter post-R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2011] 3 WLR 107.

R (on the application of Nicholas) v Upper Tribunal Judge and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (CO/12305 /2010)

A first-tier tribunal (FTT) had presented the claimant, who was unrepresented, with the choice of an adjournment so that papers relating to her previous incapacity assessments could be obtained. She refused that offer and her appeal was dismissed. The Upper Tribunal said that the FTT had dealt with the case in a fair manner as it should have been apparent to the claimant that such papers might assist her appeal. In the grounds for judicial review it was argued that the FTT had been wrong to put the onus of deciding whether an adjournment was needed onto the claimant and that the relevance of the earlier papers would not have been readily apparent to a lay person. Granting permission Foskett J said that it is arguable that there had been "a collapse of fair procedure" such that there is a compelling reason to judicially review the decision to refuse permission to appeal.

Desmond Rutledge is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Welfare Benefits Team and Public and Administrative Law Team. He was instructed by Plumstead Law Centre.

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