HC Deb 30 January 1998 vol 305 c394W
Mr. Gordon Marsden

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what procedures are employed by the Independent Tribunal Service to appoint the chairs and other members of(a) SSATs, (b) DATs and (c) MATs. [25405]

Mr. Hoon

The Lord Chancellor appoints full-time legal Chairmen after consultation with the Lord Advocate. The statutory qualification for such appointment is to have a five-year general qualification (in England and Wales) or to have been a solicitor or advocate in Scotland of at least five years' standing. Appointments are made following advertisement and interview, usually from among the ranks of part-time Chairmen, of those who are best able to demonstrate that they satisfy the selection criteria. Part-time legal Chairmen are appointed by the Lord Chancellor in England and Wales and currently by the Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland. The statutory qualifications are the same as for full-time Chairmen. Vacancies are advertised and appointments made following interview of those best able to satisfy the selection criteria.

The President of the Independent Tribunal Service at present appoints all other members of those tribunals within his jurisdiction, including Social Security Appeal Tribunals (SSATs), Disability Appeal Tribunals (DATs), Medical Appeal Tribunals (MATs) and Child Support Appeal Tribunals (CSATs). Interested individuals satisfying the statutory requirements and certain other selection criteria such as age are interviewed locally by the relevant Regional Chairman and a report and recommendation are submitted by them to the President for his decision.