EHRC briefing - Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill
Equality and Human Rights Commission
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a briefing for Lords Report Stage of the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill,
The Bill would allow some judicial functions to be delegated to authorised staff of HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Our priorities in relation to this Bill are:
- ensuring that delegation does not prejudice the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights as protected by the Human Rights Act, in particular the requirement that rights are determined by an independent and impartial person
- ensuring that such delegation helps rather than hinders courts and tribunals to meet the needs of those with particular characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.
In our briefing, we support Amendment 8, which provides for a right to apply for judicial reconsideration of a decision made by an authorised non-judicial officer. The Amendment would ensure the power to delegate judicial functions is compliant with fair trial rights as protected by the Human Rights Act, in line with our priorities set out above. It is our view that the right to judicial reconsideration ensures the independent judicial scrutiny of decisions made by authorised staff and provides an important backstop protection.
The full briefing can be found here.