Conference launches tribunal consultation
Justice Minister David Ford announced proposals for major reform of the tribunal system in Northern Ireland at a conference organised by University of Ulster and the Law Centre.
Tribunal Reform: the Way Ahead was held in the Bar Library, Belfast, on Friday 25 January.
Speaking at the conference, Law Centre (NI) Director Les Allamby explained that more people go to tribunals than courts. ‘Tribunals in Northern Ireland deal with entitlement to benefits, unfair dismissal and discrimination at work, whether someone can be detained in a mental health institution, access to special educational needs and many other important issues.’
He added: ‘We are delighted that many of the findings and recommendations of research we commissioned have influenced the consultation document1. The document recognises the importance of the tribunal user and the need for an independent and accessible tribunal system with appropriate oversight. Independent advice and support are also vital.’
The Department is now inviting responses to the consultation document, The Future Administration and Structure of Tribunals in Northern Ireland, available at: www.dojni.gov.uk/index/public-consultations/current-consultations/the-future-administration-and-structure-of-tribunals-in-northern-ireland.htm. The consultation period closes on Friday 19 April 2013.