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UKAJI January update


UKAJI will be posting monthly administrative justice updates at the end of each month. If you have any updates to include in this month’s review or to include in future editions, please email Lee Marsons at lm17598@essex.ac.uk.


UKAJI blog posts:

  • Kelly Shuttleworth (@KellyJShutts) posted a blog entitled ‘Ombudsman schemes in the banking sector and how they can enhance access to justice’ on 15 January 2019
  • Margaret Doyle (@MDmediation1) posted a blog entitled ‘Cruel and discriminatory: new research on prosecuting parents for school absence’ on 28 January 2019
  • Carolyn Hirst (@cahirstworks) posted a book review assessing Hilary Cottam’s 2018 book ‘Radical Help: How we can remake the relationships between us and revolutionise the welfare state’ on 30 January 2019
  • UKAJI also updated its ‘live projects’ to include Jennie Bunt’s (@JennieBunt) PhD research on council tax debt collection in Wales


Research and publications

  • Rona Epstein, Geraldine Brown & Sarah O’Flynn published their research entitled ‘Prosecuting parents for truancy: who pays the price?’ on 14 January 2019
  • Carolyn Hirst published an update on her research with Chris Gill, Maria Sapouna, and Jane Williams on ‘Being Complained About’ on 22 January 2019
  • Alysoun Boyle of the Australian Dispute Resolution Network published a research paper entitled ‘Who to Ask: Transferability of Findings Reported in Empirical Studies of Mediation’ on 24 January 2019
  • Joe Tomlinson and Byron Karemba published a briefing on the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill currently before Parliament, arguing in favour of greater complainant rights procedures
  • Sarah Nason published an article in The Conversation in December 2018 on administrative justice in Wales: ‘Administrative justice can make countries fairer and more equal – if it is implemented properly’


Parliamentary affairs

  • The House of Commons Justice Select Committee initiated an inquiry into the impact of court and tribunal reforms on access to justice, with a public consultation to run from 10 January to 11 March 2019
  • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombud (PHSO), Rob Behrens, and his CEO, Amanda Campbell, appeared before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on 22nd January 2019. Lee Marsons (@LeeGTMarsons) will be posting a blog summarising the PHSO’s evidence in early February 2019.
  • The House of Commons Education Select Committee is still accepting evidence to its inquiry on special educational needs and disabilities reforms
  • The House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee continues its inquiry into enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC



  • The National Audit Office (NAO) published a report on local authority governance on 15 January 2019
  • The Northern Ireland Audit Office published a report on welfare reform in Northern Ireland on 17 January 2019


Ombuds affairs

  • The Legal Ombud proposed minor amendments to its Scheme Rules in line with s.205 of the Legal Services Act 2007 with a public consultation to run from 2 to 30 January 2019
  • The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombud upheld a complaint against the Victims and Survivors Service on 3 January 2019
  • The Local Government and Social Care Ombud (LGSCO) released a report on the failure of Norfolk council to provide adequate special educational needs provision on 16 January 2019
  • The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombud released its report into an investigation into the Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombud proposed her first ‘own initiative’ investigation into the Department for Work and Pension’s administration of Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) on 21 January 2019
  • The Welsh Public Services Ombud reported on the investigation into the death of an elderly woman who died of undiagnosed kidney failure and administration of inappropriate levels of pain relief
  • The Scottish Public Services Ombud laid the conclusions of fifty-nine investigations before the Scottish Parliament on 23 January 2019
  • The LGSCO reported on 24 January 2019 of the failure of Barnet council to monitor excessive noise at a community centre following two LGSCO investigations
  • The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombud partially upheld a complaint against Newry, Mourne and Down District Council concerning a planning application on 31 January 2019
  • In December 2018, the LGSCO published a report, ‘Under Pressure – the impact of the changing environment on local government‘ on how local authorities are responding to financial constraints



  • The Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Ernest Ryder, published his response to the consultation ‘Tribunals: Judicial Ways of Working’ on 25 January 2019.
  • Sir Ernest further published a ‘supplement’ to his 2018 annual report entitled ‘Modernising Tribunals 2018’ on 28 January 2019
  • As of 11 January 2019, the national trial of the ‘Single Route of Redress’ for the First-Tier Tribunal (SEND) has seen 420 appeals registered (3 April 2018 – 11 January 2019). The trial allows the Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a special educational appeal. The trial applies to local authority decisions made and EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018 and will run for two years. It is being independently evaluated by IFF Research and Belmana.


News items

  • The BBC reported that eight in ten local authorities in England had overspent their special educational needs budgets
  • The BBC reported on a Northern Irish man with disabilities who won a PIP appeal after seven months of “humiliation”
  • The BBC reported on delays experienced by families with children with special educational needs in receiving an EHC (education, health and care plan)


Seminars and workshops

  • An NHS Complaints Summit was held on 14 January 2019. The next is to be held on 23 May 2019.
  • Joe Tomlinson led a seminar at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights on the impact of Brexit on administrative justice in the UK on 29 January 2019
  • Lee Marsons advertised his therapeutic jurisprudence and administrative justice workshop to be held in summer 2019. Interested persons were asked to contact lm17598@essex.ac.uk.



  • In R (Johnson) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] EWHC 23 (Admin) the Administrative Court upheld a judicial review challenge into the DWP’s method of calculating Universal Credit


Coming up in February…

  • A blog post by Jennie Bunt (@JennieBunt) on council tax debt enforcement in Wales
  • A blog post by Lee Marsons (@LeeGTMarsons) summarising the evidence of the PHSO before the PACAC on 22nd January 2019
  • A book review by Maurice Sunkin on The Research Handbook on the Ombudsman (2018) edited by Marc Hertogh & Richard Kirkham
  • The Administrative Justice Council has organised an event for practitioner and researcher engagement on 12 February 2019. Lee Marsons will be attending this event on behalf of UKAJI.
  • Rightsnet (@rightsnet) is holding a series of workshops on tribunals, welfare reform, and Universal Credit
  • The Grenfell Tower inquiry is to hold an open meeting on 4 February 2019


With thanks to Margaret Doyle, Maurice Sunkin, Grainne McKeever, and Chris Gill for their assistance in putting this summary together.

About UK Administrative Justice Institute

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, we link research, practice & policy on administrative justice in the UK



  1. Pingback: UKAJI Christmas and New Year Break | UKAJI - December 20, 2019

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