Advice to local authorities to use legal representatives

The request was successful.

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

According to a report produced by North Yorkshire County Council, Tribunal judges have, since at least February 2011, been advising local authorities to use legal representatives at SEND Tribunals. The report states:

Tribunal hearings are becoming increasingly legalistic, with reliance on case
law and more parents being legally represented. Tribunal judges, for the
first time, are beginning to recommend that LAs are legally represented.
Discussions with our colleagues in the Yorks & Humberside area have shown
that two LAs have for the first time sought legal representation ( their cases
are in the process of being prepared), and others are considering doing so.

The full document can be found here:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/12...

I would be grateful if you could clarify:

1 Whether this statement is accurate
2 Your reasoning, if it is the case
3 The Tribunal policy or advice on legal representation for local authorities and appellants.
4 Any documentation you have sent to local authorities on this matter.
5 Your views on the recommendation from the Lamb report which stated:

With increasing complexity and in the interests of equity legal aid should be available for parents attending a Tribunal hearing (para 5.81).

Yours faithfully,

Terry Pandere

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

Further to my last email, I would like to amend question 5 to read:

Has the Courts and Tribunal Service issued any policy with respect to legal representation at SEND Tribunals following the Lamb Report, and if so, please provide me with a copy.

Yours faithfully,

Terry Pandere

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunall

Under the terms of the FoI Act, your response should have been received yesterday. I would be grateful if you can provide a response as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Terry Pandere

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service

Dear Mr Pandere,

Thank you for your email below.

Firstly may I apologise for the delay in a response being sent out to you. Your request is being dealt with and you will receive a response shortly.

I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Many Thanks

Laura Benson
Data Access & Compliance Unit

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Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service's handling of my FOI request 'Advice to local authorities to use legal representatives'.

I made an FOIA request on 15 September last year, which was acknowledged. Despite a further request for information, and assurances that a reply would be forthcoming (15 October 2012) I have yet to receive a response.

This would seem to fall foul of the FOIA and I would like a response please.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ad...

Yours faithfully,

Terry Pandere

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pandere.

Thank you for your email detailed below.

From looking into this I can see that a response was sent to you in October 2012, please find this enclosed.

I apologise that you have only seen this now.

Many Thanks

Laura

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