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United Kingdom's Tribunal System Reforms - Essay Example

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United Kingdom’s Tribunal System Reforms
Contemplation about tribunal reform in the United Kingdom began in 2006. Several legislations were prepared to contribute to the reform. Among these were the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill 2007…
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Download file to see previous pages The government’s White Paper 2004 implemented these reviews’ recommendations gave birth to the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council that replaced the old body, Council of tribunal (White Paper 2004, p.8). In 2005, the government established the Tribunal’s service as an executive agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA). Its function would be to accommodate the chief government run tribunals (Buck 2005, p.6). Following the appointment of Lord Justice Carwath as the first Senior President-designate of Tribunals, there was a publication of a Draft Bill in 2006. In November the same year, the House of Lords received the Tribunals, courts and Enforcement Bill (Buck 2006, pp 458-484) .
There were a number of reasons for the reforms. First and foremost was in relation to the availability of reported decisions. The tribunal users experienced a lot of delays before they received responses to their applications and appeals. For this reason, the House of Commons made an inquiry into the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners (2000, pp 6-15). Some jurisdictions lacked hard copy reports while others had poor electronic media submission of reports. Secondly, the method of selection of cases varied amongst the jurisdictions. Rather than depend on rational thinking to select cases, tribunals depended on their historical development and procedural rules. Third, tribunals developed a common law system instead of a case-law system. This reduced their flexibility in determining case. Moreover, it watered down the role of a tribunal which is to avoid a formal doctrine that would result in binding precedents (Farmer 1974, p.21). The tribunal system experienced real change after the creation of the Councils of Tribunals. In 2008, the Upper Tribunal and the First-tier Tribunal were created. These two tribunals replaced the abundance of tribunals that were there before. In addition to that, there was a harmonization of procedures. Consequently, this reduced cases of separate jurisdictions each with their own procedure and system. A total of 107 tribunals were transferred into these two. However, the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal maintained their jurisdictions (Industrial Law Journal 2009, p. 418). The tribunals are divided into chambers. Each chamber takes up a general title dealing with issues that relate to the title. In light of the above discussion, tribunals deal with a range of issues. One of the issues at hand is the government’s proposal to give tribunals the power to oversee euthanasia or assisted suicide. Regulation of euthanasia under criminal law remains to be a contentious issue in medical law. According to Smith, England’s law makers have remained adamant in charting a clear way to handle this issue (1996, p.335). As it stands right now, England’s courts and legislators are not willing to remove the objection to the practice of euthanasia. Criminal law considers any wrongful act that leads to the loss of life as homicide. The most common of such acts is murder which earns one life imprisonment. A deliberate act of ending a life is murder. Therefore, even if a doctor ends a life upon the patient’s request, the law classifies his act as that of murder. There are cases where doctors have been charged with murder where they performed euthanasia. Dr. John Bodkin Adams, administered painkillers (The Times 1981, p. 1, 12). However, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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