Remit & Working Practices

STAJAC—The Remit


• to promote the interests of system users and champion an administrative justice and tribunals system that is accessible, responsive and has users` needs at the centre

• to focus on engaging with decision makers to improve rules, procedures and the complaints handling processes within the administrative justice and tribunals system

• to encourage better decision making within the administrative justice and tribunals system with the emphasis on getting the decision right first time to support early and appropriate dispute resolution

• to encourage the building of networks and the sharing of good practice amongst practitioners

• to provide scrutiny of the whole of the administrative justice and tribunals system in devolved areas, including the development of the proposals to merge the Scottish Tribunals Service and the Scottish Court Service, the new structure following the Tribunals Bill, and any relevant developments within the wider civil justice system in devolved areas

• to monitor developments in reserved areas of administrative justice and tribunals pre and post referendum that affect citizens in Scotland

• to advise Ministers on the development of the Strategy for Administrative Justice and the future direction and priorities of the strategy

• to engage across Government and identify to Ministers any policy and practice issues affecting the administrative justice and tribunals system in devolved areas which may require Government attention

• to recommend how the functions of the committee should be carried out in the longer term

In its work, the Committee will adopt the definition of Administrative Justice as set out in the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007: “the overall system by which decisions of an administrative or executive nature are made in relation to particular persons including: the procedures for making such decisions; the law under which such decisions are made and the systems for resolving disputes and airing grievances in relation to such decisions”

Working Practices

The Committee has drawn up a working agreement with the Scottish Government. The detailed workplan will be developed by the chair and members.

The bullets below are an overview of the working practices that the Committee will adopt:

• Committee membership will include members from key organisations and sectors

• individual members will serve in a personal capacity to discuss policy and practice issues without implying the approval of the organisations they represent

• the Committee will meet at least quarterly

• sub-groups can be formed by the Committee in consultation with the SG to take forward individual workstreams as and when required

• the Committee will give strategic direction to the work of any sub- groups/workstreams and the SG will support them as necessary

• the agenda will be drafted in consultation with members and subject to the agreement of the Chair. Members will be invited to contribute to the agenda.

• Committee meetings will be held in private

• Meeting papers and meeting notes will be made public once they are in agreed final form. Exceptions to this may arise on occasion, with the agreement of the Chair. Notwithstanding this approach, the Scottish Government as with other public sector bodies remains subject to Freedom of Information legislation which will apply to all information held about the work of the Committee.

• membership will be for two years to ensure continuity, with some members of the inaugural board stepping down, if they wish, after serving one year.

• New members will be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Scottish Government

• the Committee will produce reports as and when required and agree its communication methods

• the Chair and members will not have any unmanageable or inappropriate conflicts of interest incompatible with their role on the Committee. All members will be required to register any relevant interest (a register of interests will be maintained and published), and members will be asked to declare any interest specific to the business under discussion at the beginning of any meeting.