Singh v Secretary of State for the Home Department – WLR Daily

Posted June 8th, 2016 in appeals, bias, law reports, professional conduct, tribunals by sally

Singh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 492

‘When a party seeks to appeal to the Upper Tribunal on the grounds that there had been bias or misconduct on the part of the First-tier Tribunal, the following guidance should be followed. (1) Any application for permission to appeal, if based (in whole or part) on such a ground, should be closely scrutinised. Such an allegation, if to be sufficient to merit the grant of permission at all, should ordinarily be expected to be properly particularised and appropriately evidenced. (2) If an allegation of bias or misconduct is raised which is adjudged sufficient to merit the grant of permission to appeal then it should be normal practice for the Upper Tribunal thereafter to obtain the written comments of the judge concerned. (3) Such written comments of the judge, where obtained, should be provided to the parties for the purposes of the appeal hearing in the Upper Tribunal. In addition, any such written comments should be retained on the file pending any possible further appeal to the Court of Appeal. (4) There may be some cases where it may be necessary to obtain the tribunal judge’s own note or record of the entire hearing since proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal are not ordinarily recorded and no transcript of the hearing will be available. (5) It will normally be likely to be of assistance to the Upper Tribunal to know what the advocate for the respondent has to say as to what happened or what was said before the First-tier Tribunal. Providing such observations is more likely to help produce a fuller and accurate picture of what actually happened or was said in the First-tier Tribunal. Where the advocate does not have a precise note or recollection, the Upper Tribunal can be told. (6) Whether oral evidence is needed at the hearing of the appeal on the issue of what happened or what was said below should be carefully considered by the parties. (7) It is likely to be important in appeals of this nature for the file to be reviewed and any directions given by an Upper Tribunal judge in good time before the substantive appeal hearing (para 53).’

WLR Daily, 27th May 2016