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PIP - DMs are Judicial Authorites

ThanatosThanatos Member Posts: 13 Connected
edited February 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi,

In the DWP document "Advice for Decision Making – Chapter A1: Principles of decision making and Evidence”, section A1494, it refers to Decision Makers as “Judicial Authorities”.

What exactly does that mean? As I understand when DMs decide an award they are technically making Judicial decisions and have all the legal responsibilities that are appropriate.

Part of this is that they are bound by UT Reported Decisions. It is not optional is it? Though if there is more than one Reported Decision they are likely to choose the one that suits them best. And if it is a Three Judge decision they must accept that even if there is a dissenting opinion.

Do I understand correctly?

Kind Regards


Replies

  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Thanatos said:
    Hi,

    In the DWP document "Advice for Decision Making – Chapter A1: Principles of decision making and Evidence”, section A1494, it refers to Decision Makers as “Judicial Authorities”.

    What exactly does that mean? As I understand when DMs decide an award they are technically making Judicial decisions and have all the legal responsibilities that are appropriate.

    Part of this is that they are bound by UT Reported Decisions. It is not optional is it? Though if there is more than one Reported Decision they are likely to choose the one that suits them best. And if it is a Three Judge decision they must accept that even if there is a dissenting opinion.

    Do I understand correctly?

    Kind Regards


    Basically you are correct.

    The Decision Maker (Case Manager) takes on the role as standing in the shoes of the Secretary of State. As such yes, he has to consider case law when making that decision.

    The reality of it is that he/she should follow the DWP guidance which is nothing more than the DWP's interpretation of what the law says.

    In my last posting when working for the government I was an examiner/investigator, but the legal responsibility put upon me was that I was also an Officer of the High Court with all of the powers that came with it.
  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @Thanatos

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Some of our members may be able to answer your questions soon.
  • ThanatosThanatos Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Yadnad said:

    The Decision Maker (Case Manager) takes on the role as standing in the shoes of the Secretary of State. As such yes, he has to consider case law when making that decision.

    The reality of it is that he/she should follow the DWP guidance which is nothing more than the DWP's interpretation of what the law says.

    In my last posting when working for the government I was an examiner/investigator, but the legal responsibility put upon me was that I was also an Officer of the High Court with all of the powers that came with it.

    Thank you for your fast reponse.

    Is the DWP guidance, incorprating their interpretation of case law available to the public? I am guessing I will need to make a FOIA request.
    Along with that question, is it possible to learn what date they have reached with incorporating case law into the guidance? There will naturally be a delay between a decision being made and the DWP adoption of that decision.

    Kind Regards
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Guidance for a Decision Maker is not really that up to date as far as case law is concerned. Generally it is updated every 12 months or so.
    But what you have to remember is that the guidance is NOT the law, it is merely the DWP's interpretation of it.
    If you want to quote case law and the regulations then it is up to you to do the research - the DWP will not be in too much of a hurry to do that for you.
  • ThanatosThanatos Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Yadnad said:
    Guidance for a Decision Maker is not really that up to date as far as case law is concerned. Generally it is updated every 12 months or so.
    But what you have to remember is that the guidance is NOT the law, it is merely the DWP's interpretation of it.
    If you want to quote case law and the regulations then it is up to you to do the research - the DWP will not be in too much of a hurry to do that for you.

    Comments appreciated. I have been reading case law already so I will continue as I am.

    Cheers!
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