Judges, Funding and Impartial Position

Max Kerley made this Freedom of Information request to HM Courts and Tribunals Service This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

I request information relating to the following.

Is Judge O'Hara funded/paid by the DWP?

Is any judge, barrister or other legal representative 'representing the public' being paid for or funded by the DWP? This includes any expense claims.

Is the panel on the tribunal tiers in any way connected with the DWP whether currently or previously?

What reassurance can the public receive to ensure impartial conduct and to ensure that the tribunal are not bias towards the DWP and to deny the public a fair hearing?

Please note that the above questions are in relation to benefit tribunals.

I have concerns regarding information that I have come across online relating to an upcoming tribunal. It essentially states that papers have been fraudulently created by the DWP. In this instance, it is the creation of a MR notice that was never requested and is a response to a BF223. It is the fact that the Judge has sided with the DWP and allowed the tribunal to proceed with fraudulent papers on the side of the DWP and therefore denying the claimant a right to a fair trial.

There is also further concerns in relation to this and I request how a claimant addresses their concerns with the Tribunal, as it appears that thus far the concerns have been ignored.

If papers are false, is a tribunal allowed to continue?

Yours faithfully,

Max Kerley

HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence),

Dear Mr Kerley

 

Thank you for your email of 4 January about the First-tier Tribunal -
Social Security and Child Support (SSCS).

 

I can confirm that neither Judge O’Hara nor any other SSCS tribunal member
is paid a salary or expenses from the Department for Work and Pensions
(DWP).

 

The tribunal is, and has always been, completely independent and makes its
own decisions from the evidence made available from both parties.

 

If an appellant believes any evidence presented is not correct, they can
challenge this or present contradictory evidence.  They can also raise
this matter with the tribunal. It is the function of the judge to decide
between conflicting evidence on what they believe to be the most credible.

 

You may wish to seek independent advice about your situation.  Advicenow
provides clear, step-by-step, user-friendly practical guides relating to
legal problems.  Further information can be found at the address:
www.advicenow.org.uk.   Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and
impartial advice on a range of matters.  You could also contact Civil
Legal Advice on their telephone helpline on 0345 345 4345 or find more
about the service they provide at www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Christine Worsley | HM Courts & Tribunals Service
| Customer Investigations Team | Customer Directorate

6th Floor (6.02)  |  102 Petty France |  London |  SW1H 9AJ

 e-mail: [1][email address]

 

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