Report No. 162
Other reforms made by the Act of 1958
The Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958 also made the following provision:
1. Chairmen of rent tribunals and of tribunals dealing with national insurance, industrial injuries, national assistance, and national service were to be selected by their ministries from panels nominated by the Lord Chancellor.
2. Membership of any of the listed tribunals, or of a panel connected with it could be terminated only with the Lord Chancellor's consent.
3. No procedural rules or regulations for the listed tribunals might be made without consultation with the Council on Tribunals.
4. A right of appeal to the High Court on a point of law was given in the case of a number of specified tribunals, including rent tribunals, and tribunals dealing with the children, employment, schools, nurses and mines. In various other cases this right already existed.
5. Other tribunals could be brought within the Act by ministerial order. Since Parliament has continued to create new tribunals as fast as ever, many additions have been made to the schedule, including mental health review tribunals, betting levy appeal tribunals, industrial tribunals, rent assessment committees, immigration tribunals, VAT tribunals, school allocation appeal committees, the data protection tribunal and the financial services tribunal.
6. Judicial control by means of certain remedies (certiorari and mandamus) was safeguarded. This is discussed elsewhere.
7. The Act gave a legal right to a reasoned decision from any of the listed tribunals, provided this was requested on or before giving or notification of the decision. This is discussed below.
8. The ministers responsible under the Act, and to whom the Council on Tribunals was to report, were the Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Scotland (replaced for this purpose in 1973 by the Lord Advocate).
The Act fell short of the Committee's recommendations in certain respects, for instance in its arrangements as to the appointment of Chairman and Members of tribunals. Perhaps the most notable divergence was in the failure to provide for appeals on questions of fact and merits. The Committee recommended a right of appeal on 'fact, law and merits', but the Act provided only a right of appeal on a question of law.
Thus the Committee's proposal that there should be a right of appeal from rent tribunals to county courts remained unfulfilled, and no right of appeal was given, except on a point of law, from the rent assessment committees set up by the Rent Act 1965. Jurisdictional facts are of-course reviewable independently.