The Administrative Justice Council’s first Annual Report
On 6th November, the Administrative Justice Council published its first annual report for 2018-19.
The Administrative Justice Council (AJC) was set up in March 2018 and is the successor body to the Administrative Justice Forum. It provides oversight and advice on administrative justice across the UK. Chaired by the Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals, the Council seeks to make the administrative justice system more efficient, fair and accessible.
The scale of administrative justice is vast, often called the ‘cinderella’ of the justice system. It covers all government decisions, including complaints and appeals on immigration and asylum, social security, housing, education, health care, planning, and tax.
Over the year, the AJC has identified four key areas of focus: improving first instance government decision-making; the impact of the courts and tribunals modernisation programme; ombudsman reform and improving the relationship between the ombudsman and tribunals. It has developed four research projects underneath these themes which seek to improve different parts of the system.
Speaking about the report, Sir Ernest Ryder said:
“We have made huge strides, in addressing some of the ongoing concerns in administrative justice. Our annual report demonstrates the hard work by our three panels in identifying real problems for users of the system. Over the year, they have produced research-based projects which will lead to practical recommendations for change. I look forward to working with the Council and the panels in the year ahead and to seeing the development of current projects and the tangible benefits to the user experience.”
The AJC annual report can be found on the AJC website at: www.ajc-justice.co.uk/council/reports/
Notes for Editors
- The Administrative Justice Council is made up of members from the judiciary, ombudsman, academics, organisations representing ‘users’ and civil servants. The AJC is responsible for the whole of the UK and takes a special interest in work being done in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in their devolved judiciaries, ombudsman schemes and administrations. The MoJ asked JUSTICE to take on the role of the Secretariat after the Administrative Justice Forum came to an end in 2017.
- The Council has three panels – the Advice Sector Panel, the Academic Panel and the Pro Bono Panel. The Advice Sector Panel is made up of advice sector organisations from across the UK; the Pro Bono Panel is made up of 5 pro bono lawyers from top law firms in London; and the Academic Panel is made up of academics who specialise in administrative justice across the UK.
- The projects currently being taken forward are: a polluter pays proposal to improve first instance decision-making; a project which demonstrates the impact of incorrect decision-making by the Department of Work and Pensions to both the individual and public purse; a stakeholder engagement survey to show the capacity of frontline services to assist people with appealing online; and an ombudsman and tribunals familiarisation programme to improve the relationship between the ombudsman and tribunal service.
- Please direct all enquiries to Heidi Bancroft, Secretary to the AJC, on 0207 762 6434 or firstname.lastname@example.org.