Memorandum from the Northern Ireland Court
2003 (S.R. 2003/18)
1. It is envisaged that the abridgement of time power
in regulation 3(2) of the Social Security Commissioners (Procedure)
(Tax Credits Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 will
be used to secure the expeditious conduct of proceedings and be
exercised in much the same way as the corresponding power in regulation
5(2) of the Social Security Commissioners (Procedure) Regulations
(Northern Ireland) 1999.
2. Ordinarily, the power in the 1999 Regulations
is used to abridge the time periods in regulations 18 and 19 of
the 1999 Regulations (which allow for written observations on
appeal) if there has previously been an application for leave
to appeal. This is because observations on the leave application
will already have been directed, received and exchanged between
the parties. The issues will, therefore, be fairly clear and further
monthlong periods for written observations are unlikely
to be required. However, should additional issues emerge during
the abridged time period, an application can be made to extend
the applicable time.
3. It is considered that the Commissioner's general
power to issue directions for the efficient despatch of the proceedings
(regulation 16(4) of the 2003 Regulations refers) is sufficiently
broad to allow for the admission of submissions on the exercise
of the abridgement of time power. In addition, the power to request
an extension of time is viewed as an effective counterbalance
to the power to abridge time.
4. Arrangements are in place at an administrative
level to ensure that any party who is not present when the power
is exercised by the Commissioner will be duly notified.
17 February 2003