Faculty backs removal of Crofting Commission from list of tribunals

18 Jul


Plans by the Scottish Government to remove the Crofting Commission from the list of tribunals in the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014 have been supported by the Faculty.

The Commission was afforded tribunal status at a time when it was under the supervisory remit of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC).

However, the AJTC was abolished in 2013 and its successor body in Scotland has not undertaken its supervisory role. Ministers propose that, in the absence of a supervisory body and because the Commission “is not a tribunal in the true sense of the word”, it should be removed from the list of tribunals in the 2014 Act.

In response to a consultation on draft regulations, the Faculty said it agreed with the proposal.

“Within the UK generally, a tribunal is now recognised as a distinct form of judicial body whose work is to adjudicate in disputes between two other parties, with the tribunal acting as an independent decision maker, separate from the machinery of administration which has an interest in the subject matter of the decision,” said the Faculty.

“The Crofting Commission is an example of an historic body which operates in a manner which has some similarities to what is commonly recognised as a tribunal, but which has a multiplicity of functions where the judicial role is secondary…The Commission can have some of the characteristics of a legislature or an executive body as well as a judicial body. Unlike a typical tribunal, the Commission may be a party to the issue in dispute, seeking to defend its own actions.”