Closing date: 17 September 2019 – 13:00
Salary: Chairs serve in a voluntary capacity and do not receive a fee.
Applications open: 3 September 2019 – 13:00
The JAC has been asked to select 30 Chairs for the Valuation Tribunal for England.
Valuation Tribunal for England
The Valuation Tribunal for England (VTE) deals with disputes arising from council tax, non-domestic business rates and local taxation appeals.
The Tribunal sits in panels of 2 or 3 with one acting as the Chairperson. Panels are assisted by a clerk who provides administrative and technical support. The clerk will offer advice on the relevant law, practice and procedure and, once the panel has reached its decision, will draft the decision for the panel to approve. Chairs are required to participate fully in deliberations after the hearing and convey arguments clearly.
Panel members will face a cross section of applicants ranging from the lay taxpayer to very experienced agents and representatives, plus from time-to-time in exceptional cases by barristers or solicitors.
Sometimes the issues before the tribunal can be complex and there are rules to deal with these effectively. The subject matter in many cases can involve substantial amounts of money both by way of revenue to the government and charges on the taxpayer in business rate cases. Similarly, a change of banding in council tax cases can be significant for the ordinary householder.
All appeals are important and are handled carefully and independently. It is the job of tribunal members to bring their independence of mind and experience to bear and decide cases impartially with as little formality as is practical for the due administration of justice.
More information about the Valuation Tribunal for England can be found on the website.
About the role
VTE Chairs are local people from a wide cross-section of society who, like magistrates, are lay volunteers. Although no fees are payable, expenses can be reimbursed and, in appropriate cases, a limited financial loss allowance will be available subject to meeting criteria that will be available on appointment.
The main activities of a Chair:
- chair panels and hold case management and preliminary hearings where appropriate
- contribute to the fair, efficient and effective conduct of hearings, take an active role in hearings, whether paper or oral, and demonstrate familiarity with the appeal papers
- maintain impartiality throughout hearings and take adequate notes
- seek advice from the clerk of the panel as and when appropriate
- ensure there is a structured discussion of the issues in each case taking account of other members(s) views, and give directions where appropriate, and at the conclusion of the case assist the clerk to record the reasons for the particular decision reached
- review the draft decision as prepared by the clerk to the panel within timescales.
- sit as a member of a panel of 2 or 3, or at times sit alone with the assistance of a clerk
- undertake and decide applications, with the assistance of a clerk, in relation to case management, such as postponements and adjournments, out of time applications and extension of time matters
- meet other Members of the panel prior to the commencement of the hearing, when chairing the panel
- help to promote the most expeditious dispatch of business compatible in each case with the overriding objective of dealing with cases justly
- attend training day(s) and meetings of Members and Chairs of the tribunal, keeping up to date with procedures and practices
- participate in any appraisal programme as directed by the VTE President
- panel Members and Chairs are expected to be IT-literate, to use electronic means of communication and to be willing to engage with future digital innovations in the tribunal’s practice
- complete the annual sitting requirement of a minimum of 15 days a year.
Who can apply
Applications are welcomed from a wide range of candidates and no specific qualifications or prior legal / judicial knowledge is required. This role may apply in particular to those with an experience in valuation, accountancy or surveying, however candidates with other transferable skills and experience are encouraged to apply.
Successful candidates will receive a full induction and training upon appointment.
The vacancies are across England. Candidates are expected to live or work in the area they wish to serve and should think carefully about whether the available vacancies are geographically suited. Vacancies are in the following locations
- 6 based in Maidstone/Ashford area
- 6 based in London/Bromley area
- 5 based in Newcastle/Darlington/Carlisle
- 4 based in Norwich/Cambridge/Bury St Edmunds area
- 4 based in Exeter/Truro/Plymouth area
- 3 based in either Birmingham, Leicester, Lincoln or Nottingham
- 2 based in Yorkshire
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