Appeals and Prosecutions – good practice

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    I’m interested in examples of any good practice that are out there please relating to how HB/CTB appeals are handled where there are possible prosecutions pending.
    The issue at stake is appeals staff meeting PM18 & PM19 but not jeopardising any potential criminal proceedings in the pipeline.
    Should a possible prosecution have any bearing on the submission being sent to the Tribunals Service (either in terms of how quickly the submission is sent, or whether all the related documents are disclosed in the first instance to the Tribunals Service / appellant with the submission)?
    If Tribunals are asked not to proceed with an appeal until the prosecution has been resolved, are they generally amenable to this type of request?
    Any comments would be welcome about any thoughts on this area, how other authorities handle this & any experiences of dealing with these cases? Many thanks

    Kevin D

    Hi Dawn,

    Before compiling any definitive notes, I’d await the outcome of [b:f503c6d096]Mote v SoS for Work & Pensions and anor[/b:f503c6d096].

    This case arises from [b:f503c6d096]CH/1220/2005 & CIS/1216/2005[/b:f503c6d096].

    According to the Cmmrs site, one of the issues is about “whether tribunal should adjourn pending criminal proceedings”.

    It’s due to be heard later this year (May to Oct).



    thank you

    Ozzie Bird

    Hi Dawn
    At a recent Tribunal User Group meeting, we were advised when in a situation like this to apply to the Tribunal to have the appeal hearing delayed until the outcome of criminal proceedings is known. A note from the prosecutor that it would be adverse to the prosecution if the appeal is heard first would also help to support your request.

    I’ve had one recently that needs to be put on hold until the prosecution has been heard and I wrote to the Tribunal Service requesting that the hearing be delayed and am waiting to find out if this is possible.

    I don’t see how we can send off our submission with all the details of the appeal prior to prosecution as the submission would contain information (such as interview under caution) that would certainly affect the prosecution.
    Hope this helps


    Hi Dawn

    At a TAS user group meeting last year, the Tribunal Service said that whenever they get a submission or AT37 that indicates that there is a prosecution pending, they immediately refer it to the Chairman to see whether or not he / she wants to list the appeal.

    The Chairman was also present, and he said that his view was that the matter should be referred to the appellant to see if they want to proceed with the appeal before the outcome of the prosecution. His reasoning was that information could come out in the course of the appeal that could be used by the authority in their prosection. Alternatively, information could be forthcoming that might cause the authority to rethink the prosection. Therefore, it has to be the appellant’s call on what they want to do.

    Where the appellant wants to proceed, the appeal will generally be listed.

    That’s the TAS take on things anyway! Hope it helps.


    thank you!


    I have an appeal but they have also appealed against the DWP

    It will be a joint prosecution with the DWP

    I have to say that I am not keen on sending any sort of submission through at this stage as there is alot of information that the claimant would not be aware of at this stage which could definitely affect any outcome at the prosecution stage.

    What would you guys suggest as best practice? Send a very mini submission with very few details and outline that it is a joint dwp prosecution? or something else?



    As regards HB/CTB duly made appeals where there is a prosecution in the pipeline & the appeal is clearly linked to the same issues, our legal advice (after my original posting) was that we must still attempt to send the appeal to the TS within 4 weeks – the prosecution should not be a reason to hold action on the appeal because the Council has no legal power to hold up the appeal – only the Tribunal can decide to do this. The Ombudsman published a Special Report about this in February 2004.
    What we have been told to do in these cases is not send a full submission but just a covering letter with the appeal, requesting that it isn’t heard and why. If appropriate we might also send a mini-submission (but no evidence) which sets out the bare bones of the case – but the level of info given would depend on the stage that the prosecution was at – our Fraud team would advise us what they would prefer us to disclose (or not).
    For cases where the appellant has appealed against a DWP decision (and our decision could be directly affected by the outcome of that appeal) our Tribunals Service asked us to not send the appeal/submission off for the HB/CTB appeal, until the DWP appeal had been heard first. This was to save time – there would be no point listing & setting aside time for a HB/CTB hearing if the decision had been quashed by an earlier one.
    Having said that, given the latest advice above we will probably be revisiting this and maybe sending the appeals off straightway in future, with a covering letter asking for the appeal not to be heard until the DWP appeal has been resolved. It would help our PMs at the very least!
    Hope this helps!

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