Law Society President Alison Atack has called for a recharge in the debate around administrative justice at a stakeholder event, Shaping the Future of Administrative Justice in Scotland; Where do we go from here? held in Edinburgh on Wednesday 27 March.
The administrative justice system in Scotland covers a huge range of issues including immigration, mental health, tax, housing, social security, health and education, as well as resolving disputes through internal complaints and review processes, ombudsman services, tribunals and courts.
Highlighting the need for a system-wide approach, Alison Atack said, “At its core administrative justice is about ensuring that public bodies and those who exercise public functions make the right decisions. It is about systems for getting it right first time and for systems for redress. Everyone is affected by it.”
Alison Atack added, “The development of a distinct approach to social security in Scotland shows that there is potential for developing a coherent and holistic culture to administrative justice more generally. I am very much looking forward to hearing the views of stakeholders from across the sector around what the future could look like for this key area of the justice system.”
Richard Henderson, convener of the Law Society’s Administrative Justice committee, said, “Today’s event allows stakeholders across the administrative justice sector to reflect on best practice and discuss areas for improvement. We’re looking forward to hearing ideas around helping to get things right first time, to support vulnerable people through these processes, to use technology more effectively, to enhance quality and standards and to make sure that we have an administrative justice system that is fit for the future.”
The outcomes of today’s event will help inform a future paper around the potential ways forward on administrative justice, to be published in summer 2019.