The Justice Committee is launching a call for evidence on the abolition of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council
On 22 January the Committee published its decision to recommend that the procedure in subsections (6) to (9) of section 11 of the Public Bodies Act 2011 should apply to the draft Public Bodies (Abolition of Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council) Order 2013, which was laid before the House of Commons on 18 December 2012 and would abolish the Council.
This has extended, from 40 to 60 days, the period which must elapse before the draft order may be approved by either House of Parliament, in order for the Committee to undertake further scrutiny of the proposal.
The Committee is conscious that parliamentary scrutiny work and public consultation has already been undertaken on the Government’s proposals to abolish the AJTC. It does not wish to duplicate that work and is therefore restricting the evidence it is seeking to the extent to which the Government has addressed concerns about the proposed abolition of the AJTC voiced by consultees and by the Public Administration Committee in the explanatory memorandum and impact assessment accompanying the draft order and in the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Strategic Work Programme.
In particular, the Committee is seeking views as to whether, following abolition of the AJTC:
- The proposed arrangements for independent overview of the administrative justice and tribunals system, including the role and membership of the Administrative Justice Advisory Group, are satisfactory;
- Sufficient resources and expertise will be available within the Ministry of Justice to carry out continuing functions undertaken hitherto by the AJTC;
- The Government’s estimate of cost savings arising from closing the AJTC is likely to be accurate
Should the Committee decide to report recommendations as a result of evidence it has taken, it will have to do so by 16 March: the deadline for written submissions is therefore Friday 15 February 2013.