- Timothy EndicottTimothy EndicottFellow in Law, Balliol College, Professor of Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford
Panels, committees, tribunals, referees, adjudicators, commissioners, and other public authorities decide many thousands of disputes each year over (for example) entitlement to benefits, or tax liability, or political asylum, or the detention of a patient in a secure hospital. The massive array of agencies reflects the great variety of benefits and burdens that twenty-first-century government assigns to people. The array had no overall organization until 2007, when Parliament transformed it into a complex system. This chapter explains the benefits of integrating these decision-making agencies in the new system. The law needs to tailor their structure, processes, and decision-making techniques to the variety of purposes they serve. And the law needs to achieve proportionate process, by reconciling competing interests in legalism and informality in tribunal processes.