Chapter 6 Questions for reflection and discussion

  1. Are tribunals properly seen as part of the English legal system?
  2. Can tribunals ever be truly ‘user-friendly’? How can those who cannot afford representation before a tribunal be best assisted to make their case?
  3. What are the arguments for and against keeping tribunals as three-person bodies?
  4. How did the tribunals system deal with the Covid-19 crisis? Do you agree that tribunals hearings should increasingly be dealt with online and with the use of digital files?
  5. Should there be a direct right of access by members of the public to the Parliamentary Ombudsman? Does the ‘MP filter’ serve any useful purpose?
  6. Should all ombudsmen be able legally to enforce any award, compensation or other remedy they recommend for proven maladministration? Should the ombudsman have power to initiate its own inquiry into suspected maladministration rather than waiting for a member of the public to make a complaint?
  7. Are there too many avenues for complaint when things go wrong?
  8. What mechanisms, apart from courts and tribunals, seem most suited to reviewing the quality of administrative action and controlling the power of state officials?
  9. Do you think that the reforms of judicial review proposed by the Government will adversely affect the ability of the courts to hold government and other public officials to account?