Tribunal Justice, Brexit, and Digitalisation: Immigration Appeals in the First-tier Tribunal
Forthcoming in Journal of Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Law (made available with the kind permission of the publishers)
32 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 11, 2019
The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) (FtTIAC) is about to go digital—at least partially—as the HMCTS transformation project turns its attention to the jurisdiction. This is the latest change in a string of major reforms impacting the FtTIAC in recent years. As a result of those reforms, access to the FtTIAC has been restricted in a variety of ways and the tribunal now plays a much less significant role in the wider landscape of immigration administrative justice. However, future expected developments—which include the introduction of online appeals and the prospect of the tribunal handling Brexit-related matters—present an opportunity to revisit the position of the FtTIAC within immigration administrative justice. The argument advanced here is that the core virtues of tribunal justice are still worth defending as the FtTIAC establishes a new role for the digital age. This is because, in the context of the mass administration required to enforce immigration policy, tribunals can dispose a large amount of complex cases at a relatively low cost, while providing the necessary degree of independence required for effective redress.
Keywords: First-Tier Tribunal; immigration appeals; access to justice; tribunal reform; Brexit; digitalisation; administrative review
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