PART 4

The Tribunal’s case management powersTribunal Rules

The Tribunal’s general powers of management

4.1

The list of powers set out below is in addition to any powers given to the Tribunal by any other Rule or Practice Direction or by any other enactment or any powers it may otherwise have.

4.2

Except  where these Rules or an enactment  provide  otherwise,  the Tribunal may in its sole discretion:

(1) extend  or  shorten  the  time  for  compliance  with  any  Rule,  Practice Direction  or Tribunal  order  (even  if an application  for extension  is made after the time for compliance has expired);

(2) adjourn or bring forward a hearing;

(3) require a party or a party’s  legal representative  to attend before the
Tribunal;

(4) hold a hearing and receive evidence by telephone or by using any other method of direct oral communication;

(5) direct that part of any proceedings (such as a counterclaim)  be dealt with as separate proceedings;

(6) stay the whole or part of any proceedings or judgment either generally or until a specified date or event;

(7) consolidate proceedings;

(8) try two or more claims on the same occasion;

(9) direct a separate trial of any issue;

(10) decide the order in which issues are to be tried;

(11) exclude an issue from consideration;

(12) dismiss or give judgment on a claim after a decision on a preliminary issue;

(13) order any party to file and serve an estimate of costs;

(14) take  any  other  step  or  make  any  other  order  for  the  purpose  of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective.

4.3

When the Tribunal makes an order, it may

(1) make it subject to conditions, including a condition to pay a sum of money into the Tribunal Registry; and

(2) specify  the  consequence  of  failure  to  comply  with  the  order  or  a condition.

4.4

The Tribunal  may order  a party to pay a sum of money into the Tribunal Registry if that party has, without good reason, failed to comply with a Rule or Practice Direction.

4.5

When exercising its power under Rule 4.4 the Tribunal must have regard to

(1) the amount in dispute; and

(2) the costs which the parties have incurred or which they may incur.

4.6

Where a party pays money into the Tribunal Registry following an order under Rules 4.3 or 4.4 the money shall be security for any sum payable by that party to any other party in the proceedings.

4.7

A power of the Tribunal under these Rules to make an order includes a power to vary or revoke the order.

Tribunal Officer’s power to refer to the Registrar or the Tribunal

4.8

Where a step is to be taken by a Tribunal Officer:

(1) the Tribunal Officer may consult the Registrar or a Tribunal Member or  a  member  of  any  Judicial  Panel  to  which  the  claim  has  been allocated before taking that step;

(2) the step may be taken by the Registrar, by a Tribunal Member or by the  a  member  of  any  Judicial  Panel  to  which  the  claim  has  been allocated instead of by the Tribunal Officer.

Tribunal’s power to make order of its own initiative

4.9

Except where a Rule, Practice  Direction  or some other enactment  provides otherwise, the Tribunal may exercise its powers on an application or of its own initiative.

4.10

Where the Tribunal proposes to make an order of its own initiative

(1) it may give any person likely to be affected by the order an opportunity to make representations; and

(2) where it does so it must specify the time by and the manner in which the representations must be made.

4.11

Where the Tribunal proposes

(1) to make an order of its own initiative; and

(2) to hold a hearing to decide whether to make the order,

it must give each party likely to be affected by the order at least 3 days’ notice of the hearing.

4.12

The Tribunal  may make an order of its own initiative,  without  hearing the parties or giving them an opportunity to make representations.

4.13

Where the Tribunal has made an order under Rule 4.12

(1) a party affected by the order may apply to have it set aside, varied or stayed; and

(2) the  order  must  contain  a  statement  of  the  right  to  make  such  an application.

4.14

An application under Rule 4.13(1) must be made

(1) within such period as may be specified by the Tribunal; or

(2) if the Tribunal does not specify a period, not more than 7 days after the date  on  which  the  order  was  served   on  the  party  making   the application.

Power to strike out a statement of case

4.15

In Rules 4.16 to 4.24, reference to a statement of case includes reference to part of a statement of case.
4.16

The Tribunal may strike out a statement of case if it appears to the Tribunal –

(1) that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim;

(2) that the statement of case is an abuse of the Tribunal’s process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings; or

(3) that there has been a failure to comply with a Rule, Practice Direction or Tribunal order.

4.17

When  the  Tribunal   strikes  out  a  statement  of  case  it  may  make  any consequential order it considers appropriate.

4.18

Where –

(1) the Tribunal has struck out a claimant’s statement of case;

(2) the claimant has been ordered to pay costs to the defendant; and

(3) before the claimant pays those costs, he starts another claim against the same defendant, arising out of facts which are the same or substantially the same as those relating to the claim in which the statement of case was struck out,

the Tribunal may, on the application of the defendant, stay that other claim until the costs of the first claim have been paid.

4.19

Rule  4.16  does  not  limit  any  other  power  of  the  Tribunal  to  strike  out  a statement of case.

Judgment without trial after striking out

4.20     Rules 4.21 to 4.24 apply where

(1) the Tribunal makes an order which includes a term that the statement of case of a party shall be struck out if the party does not comply with the order; and

(2) the party against whom the order was made does not comply with it.

4.21

A party may obtain judgment with costs by filing a request for judgment if

(1) the order referred to in Rule 4.20(1) relates to the whole of a statement of case; and

(2) where the party wishing to obtain judgment is the claimant, the claim is for

(a) a specified amount of money;

(b) an amount of money to be decided by the Tribunal;

(c) delivery of goods where the claim form gives the defendant the alternative of paying their value; or

(d) any combination of these remedies.

4.22

Where judgment is obtained in a case to which Rule 4.21(2)(c) applies, it will be judgment requiring the defendant to deliver goods, or (if he does not do so) pay the value of the goods as decided by the Tribunal  (less any payments made).

4.23

The request must state that the right to enter judgment has arisen because the Tribunal’s order has not been complied with.

4.24

A party must make an application in accordance with Part 23 if he wishes to obtain judgment in a case to which Rule 4.21 does not apply.

Setting aside judgment entered after striking out

4.25

A party against whom the Tribunal has entered judgment under Rule 4.21 may apply to the Tribunal to set the judgment aside.

4.26

An application under Rule 4.25 must be made not more than 14 days after the judgment has been served on the party making the application.

4.27

If the right to enter judgment had not arisen at the time when judgment was entered, the Tribunal must set aside the judgment.

4.28

If the application to set aside is made for any other reason, Rule 4.48 (relief from sanctions) shall apply.

Sanctions for non-payment of fees

4.29

The  Tribunal  will  serve  a  notice  on  the  claimant  requiring  payment  of  a Tribunal fee if, at the time the fee is due, the claimant has not paid it.

4.30

The notice will specify the date by which the claimant must pay the fee.

4.31

If the claimant does not pay the fee by the date specified in the notice

(1) the claim will automatically be struck out without further order of the
Tribunal; and

(2) the  claimant  shall  be  liable  for  the  costs  which  the  defendant  has incurred unless the Tribunal orders otherwise.

4.32

If

(1) a claimant applies to have the claim reinstated; and

(2) the Tribunal grants relief,

the relief shall be conditional on the claimant paying the fee within the period specified in Rule 4.33.

4.33

The period referred to in Rule 4.32 is

(1) if the order granting relief is made at a hearing at which the claimant is present or represented, 2 days from the date of the order;

(2) in any other case, 7 days from the date of service of the order on the claimant.

4.34

Rules  4.35  to  4.39  apply  where  a  defendant  files  a  counterclaim  without payment of any fee specified.

4.35

The Tribunal will serve a notice on the defendant requiring payment of the fee if, at the time the fee is due, the defendant has not paid it.

4.36

The notice will specify the date by which the defendant must pay the fee.

4.37

If the defendant does not pay the fee by the date specified in the notice, the counterclaim will automatically be struck out without further order of the Tribunal.

4.38

If

(1) the defendant applies to have the counterclaim reinstated; and

(2) the Tribunal grants relief,

the relief will be conditional on the defendant paying the fee within the period specified in Rule 4.39.

4.39

The period referred to in Rule 4.38 is

(1) if the order granting relief is made at a hearing at which the defendant is present or represented, 2 days from the date of the order;

(2) in any other case, 7 days from the date of service of the order on the defendant.

Sanctions for dishonouring cheque

4.40

Rules 4.41 to 4.44 apply where any fee is paid by cheque and that cheque is subsequently dishonoured.

4.41

The Tribunal will serve a notice on the paying party requiring payment of the fee which will specify the date by which the fee must be paid.

4.42

If the fee is not paid by the date specified in the notice

(1) where the fee is payable by the claimant, the claim will automatically be struck out without further order of the Tribunal;

(2) where   the   fee   is   payable   by   the   defendant,   the   defence   will automatically be struck out without further order of the Tribunal,

and the paying party shall be liable for the costs which any other party has incurred unless the Tribunal orders otherwise.

4.43

If

(1) the paying party applies to have the claim or defence reinstated; and

(2) the Tribunal grants relief,

the relief shall be conditional on that party paying the fee within the period specified in Rule 4.44.

4.44

The period referred to in Rule 4.43 is

(1) if the order granting relief is made at a hearing at which the paying party is present or represented, 2 days from the date of the order;

(2) in any other case, 7 days from the date of service of the order on the paying party.

4.45

For the purposes of Rules 4.41 to 4.44, “claimant” includes a party making an additional claim.

Sanctions have effect unless defaulting party obtains relief

4.46

Where a party has failed to comply with a Rule, Practice Direction or Tribunal order,  any  sanction  for  failure  to  comply  imposed  by  the  Rule,  Practice Direction or Tribunal order has effect unless the party in default applies for and obtains relief from the sanction.

4.47

Where a Rule, Practice Direction or Tribunal order

(1) requires a party to do something within a specified time, and

(2) specifies the consequence of failure to comply,

the time  for doing  the  act in question  may not be extended  by agreement between the parties.

Relief from sanctions

4.48

On an application for relief from any sanction imposed for a failure to comply with any Rule, Practice Direction or Tribunal order the Tribunal will consider all the circumstances including –

(1) the interests of the administration of justice;

(2) whether the application for relief has been made promptly;

(3) whether the failure to comply was intentional;

(4) whether there is a good explanation for the failure;

(5) the extent to which the party in default has complied with other Rules, Practice Directions and Tribunal orders;

(6) whether  the failure to comply was caused by the party or his legal representative;

(7) whether the trial date or the likely trial date can still be met if relief is granted;

(8) the effect which the failure to comply had on each party; and

(9) the effect which the granting of relief would have on each party.

4.49

An application for relief must be supported by evidence.

General power of the Tribunal to rectify matters where there has been an error of procedure

4.50

Where there has been an error of procedure such as a failure to comply with a Rule or Practice Direction

(1) the error does not invalidate any step taken in the proceedings unless the Tribunal so orders; and

(2) the Tribunal may make an order to remedy the error.