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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

First-tier and Upper Tribunals: The tribunal hearing: Security at the hearing

Occasionally the decision maker, review officer or tribunals caseworker may have information in their possession which gives them concerns about the safety of those who will be attending the hearing, including official witnesses.

If this happens, the tribunal caseworker should write to the Office Manager of the relevant Tribunals Service office to tell them of their concerns as soon as they are aware of the concern (but not refer to confidential details, such as the source of the information). They should then follow up the letter with a phone call to the Office Manager.

It is important to take prompt action to give time for any necessary alternative arrangements to be made. The Tribunals Service will take precautionary measures such as arranging additional security if necessary.

It may be possible to agree with the judge that a witness statement is sufficient and attendance is not required, or to arrange to give evidence by video link.

It is important that the tribunals caseworker, in conjunction with the Tribunals Service explores alternative arrangements to enable the witness to give evidence at the tribunal in a safe environment. However, if, having done so concerns remain about whether suitable arrangements can be made the tribunals caseworker should contact Solicitor’s Office for advice.