Past Events

Administrative justice in Wales and Comparative Perspectives 2015

A conference held at Bangor University and organised in association with the Welsh Government and the UK Administrative Justice Institute.

Lord Denning argued that doing justice between individuals and the administration is as important as doing justice between individuals themselves. Doing justice between individuals and the administration is the preserve of administrative justice and its importance, especially within a country like Wales with a significant state sector and public service culture, should not be overlooked. Administrative justice is an aspect of a broader conception of social justice and tells us much about how state views its relationships with its citizens. Administrative justice is also the first aspect of justice policy and administration to be largely devolved to Wales.

This conference supported UKAJI and specifically explored some key administrative decision-making procedures and redress mechanisms operating in Wales alongside comparative experience from other UK jurisdictions, and from European jurisdictions and international jurisdictions. Topics included: good first instance decision-making across various public sector bodies, and the roles of various tribunals, administrative courts, public services ombudsmen and commissioners. Programme below

09:00-09:15 Committee on Administrative Justice and Tribunals Wales and Professor Maurice Sunkin (University of Essex, Co-Director UK Administrative Justice Institute) Opening Address
09:15-10:30 Session One: Administrative Justice in Wales – The Roles of Commissioners and Ombudsmen  
Ann Sherlock and Professor John Williams (Aberystwyth University) The Role of the Welsh Commissioners
Dr. Catrin Flur Huws (Aberystwyth University) Laws Rules and Standards: the relationship of the courts, the Welsh Language Tribunal and the Welsh Language Commissioner
Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chriost (Cardiff University) Fit for purpose? Administrative justice, language law and language ombudsmen, commissioners and regulators in Canada, Ireland and Wales
10:45-11:35 Session Two: Administrative Justice in Wales – Children’s Rights and Administrative Justice in Housing and Homelessness
  Associate Professor Jane Williams (Swansea University) Implications for administrative justice of Wales’ unique child rights laws’
  Helen Taylor (Cardiff University) The Housing (Wales) Act 2014: What’s Philosophy got to do with it?
11:35-12:45 Session Three: Tribunals and Administrative Justice Reform in Wales and the UK
  Professor Robert Thomas (University of Manchester) Developments in UK tribunals
  Brian Thompson (University of Liverpool) Opportunities and Constraints: Reflections on Reforming Administrative Justice Within and Across the Devolved UK
  Dr. Huw Pritchard (Cardiff/Bangor University) Building a Welsh Jurisdiction through Administrative Justice
12:45-13:30 LUNCH
13:30-14:15 Session Four: Courts and Tribunals in Wales and Comparative Perspectives
  Dr. Orla Drummond (Ulster University) A Comparative Examination of Special Educational Needs Tribunals in Northern Ireland and Wales
  David Gardner (Administrative Court) and Dr. Sarah Nason (Bangor University) The Administrative Court in Wales in Comparative Perspective
14:15-15:05 Session Five: Administrative Justice – European Perspectives
  Professor Marc Hertogh (University of Groningen) Promoting Administrative Justice in an Age of Discontent: The Mixed Success of the National Ombudsman in the Netherlands
  Dr. Yseult Marique (University of Essex) Tensions in administrative justice in federal states – Belgium as a case-study
15:20-16:25 Session Six: Administrative Justice – Australian Perspectives
  Professor Matthew Groves (Monash University) Administrative Justice Without Lawyers? Unrepresented Parties in Australian Tribunals
  Robin Creyke (Australian National University) Administrative Justice – Amalgamation of Tribunals? The Australian Experience
16:25-17:15 Session Seven: Administrative Justice – Designing Redress Mechanisms and Facilitating User Participation
  Chris Gill (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh) Designing for learning: can the administrative justice ‘system’ deliver improved first instance decision-making?
  Dr. Gráinne McKeever and Dr. Orla Drummond (Ulster University) Advancing a model of tribunal participation
17:15-17:30 Mr Justice Hickinbottom (Administrative Court) Closing Address