On 16 July 2018 No5 Barristers’ Chambers hosted the event, Justice in a Modern Way, with the Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) at The Clayton Hotel, Birmingham.

The speakers included Sir Ernest Ryder (the Senior President of Tribunals and Court of Appeal Judge), Abid Mahmood, (barrister at No5 and executive committee member of ALBA), and Martin Westgate QC (Doughty Street Chambers and Chair of ALBA).

He spoke about the £1billion investment in the courts and tribunals system, but also of the future changes to the ways of working at the courts and tribunals. He spoke of the current success of the tribunals with new ways of working and indeed the challenges. He also gave details in terms of the vast volume of cases that tribunals deal with from across the United Kingdom.  In some areas of law, such as social security and immigration, the internal reviews for decision-making by government departments was not getting best results because there was a very large success rate for Appellants against those government decisions at the tribunals.

Martin Westgate QC presented his paper and spoke about the importance of the need for access to justice. LASPO had a part to play in the reduction in the number of unrepresented parties at courts and tribunals. The Windrush cases was an example of systemic failings in decision-making.

Abid Mahmood led the question and answer session. There were contributions and questions from the audience, including from the President of the First-tier Tribunal (IAC) and from the Administrative Court lawyer in Birmingham. The interactive session enabled delegates to speak directly with Sir Ernest.  This was much appreciated by the delegates, some of whom said they were rarely able to speak directly with senior members of the judiciary.