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Alex Line successful in the Upper Tribunal in appeal concerning fair process in remote hearings


Alex Line represented the respondent local authority in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal from a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs & Disability). The Appellant complained that the hearing lacked procedural fairness to her as a disabled litigant, and should be overturned.

The Upper Tribunal accepted Alex’s arguments that the Tribunal has taken sufficient steps to ensure fairness in the proceedings, and dismissed the appeal accordingly.

The decision is of interest for three main reasons (the first two of which may not be limited to the SEND jurisdiction in application): (i) it considers the question of fairness in the context of remote hearings, which have become commonplace in the First-tier Tribunal as well as in other jurisdictions as a consequence of the pandemic; (ii) it considers scope and extent of the Tribunal’s duty to make accommodation for disabled litigants; and (iii) it considers the application of the Senior President’s Practice Direction issued under s.23 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, First-tier and Upper Tribunal – Child, Vulnerable Adults and Sensitive Witnesses (in addition to other sources of instruction, such as the Equal Treatment Bench Book).

The Upper Tribunal’s decision can be found here.

Find out more

Alex Line specialises in the areas of education, employment and discrimination, court of protection, and public law. He has a busy advisory and advocacy practice, regularly appearing in the Employment Tribunal, County Court and the First-Tier Tribunal. He has High Court, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, and Court of Appeal experience. He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s panel of counsel to the Crown (C Panel) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel (B Panel).

To find out more, contact Chris Rowe on +44 (0)20 7353 6381 for a confidential discussion.

Barristers: Alexander Line
Categories: News