Tribunals! – presenting officer attendance

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    Can a Chairman compel attendance of a Presenting Officer? If so under what powers?


    I think this is covered by DAR reg 49(2).

    A tribunal chairman may give a direction that a party should attend, but as far as I know that direction cannot translate into compulsion. After all, one can only be ‘compelled’ under the threat of a sanction (such as contempt of court), but I’ve never known of any such things in SS tribunals – although this is never a question I’ve attempted to answer before.

    I would, of course, be unwise to fail attend if the chairman has requested ones presence…

    Kevin D

    I suppose that a PO could be deemed a witness. If so, [b:e6c17bb886]DAR99 43[/b:e6c17bb886] [SSCS(D&A) Regs 1999] provides powers for a Tribunal to call a witness.

    If a witness doesn’t appear, there is no penalty or sanction. However, a Tribunal may be able to draw inferences.

    Other than that, a Tribunal can request a representative (including POs) to attend, but if a party chooses not to be represented, that is their right.

    Hope this helps.


    Thanks for that!


    From experience I can say, no you don’t have to go even if instructed by the chair, however, if you don’t turn up you can expect to be heavily criticised in the decision notice, even if the Council’s decision is upheld.

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