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tribuanl - anyone applied for all the witnesses to give evidence on oath?

(16 Posts)
bjkmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 20:11:53

i know it is in the rules that the tribunal can order that the witnesses give evidence under oath but has anyone ever done it? i often read on here about how LA officers lie at tribunal and then there is nothing can be done as they didnt give evidence under oath so it sounds like its quite unusual to do it under oath despite it being something the tribunal could order to happen so just wondered if anyone had done it

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 11-Nov-12 20:22:19

I wanted this too but advocate said it doesn't endear you to tribunal panels.

If there is ever a next time I'd make sure the tribunal panel members took it too.

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 11-Nov-12 20:24:29

I have definitely heard of a solicitor asking for a SENCO to give evidence under oath, so don't see why a parent couldn't ask for the same. Rather powerful tactic!

bjkmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 20:46:59

My LA calling OT whose report favours us, ed psych who wrote a report that the LA then ignored, no one from school or LA coming. So in reality both witnesses will tell the truth I would hope. I just wondered why people don't ask - it is in the rules so not really an unusual request

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 11-Nov-12 22:17:02

Not sure why people don't ask. As you say it is in the rules and it would be hard to argue why witnesses shouldn't. I think it is the nature of the Tribuanl culture where everyone (lawyers and all) like to ignore all the bad practice and just pretend they're focussing on the child's needs.

The whole process is supposed to be inquisitorial but this is bollocks as it's so clearly weighted against the parents.

I'd happily have myself and my witnesses give evidence and invite Tribunal to request that their witnesses do the same. Why not?

mariammma Sun 11-Nov-12 22:21:52

Shame you cant decide on the day. Have visions of our side taking oaths, and then a pointed silence while waiting for the other side to do so.

Delalakis Mon 12-Nov-12 22:39:42

I did hear of someone asking and being refused. Basically the panel didn't seem to think it was the done thing despite there being provision for it in the rules. Difficult to work out why they think it's there, really.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 12-Nov-12 22:41:54

Refused? Ffs.

But then as I said before some panel members coukd do with their honesty being checked.

bjkmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:02:26

im seriously thinking about apply for an order for this next week.

in nov the LA sent me a 3 page report from autism outreach. prior to this she observed my son and said she couldnt suggest a single strategy to help him. teacher wrote a report to refute what she had said, outreach wrote a 2nd crap report and again head refuted what she said. then finally after saying not a single strategy she could give she then produces a 3 page list including sensory circuits twice a day.

i then asked for the school file as the LA were refusing to disclose emails (they had deleted them) so thought school file might help. on the file i found another version of the 3 page report - same report but heavily edited and was one page long. spoke to his class teacher and he said this was the one outreach had discussed with him. there were no useful strategies on it it was so thin - one page long and the few things she had suggested were not relevant.

anyway final submissions of evidence of weds so i submitted both versions. today the LA bundle came in the post. they have submitted the one page report rather than the 3 page report so it completely plays downs his needs etc. i thought tehy would submit the 3 page version . i have a feeling they will call the outreach woman as they have now submitted her job description. there is also another report the same woman has wrote and she has done the same - sent me one version and the other one has been edited.

therefore as the LA are 'editing' report contents i think i should be able to argue that the witnesses should give evidence under oath - they havent listed her as a witness yet but i know they can change the witnesses at the last minute so just want to be prepared.

I have emailed the tribunal today and highlighted the two different reports to them and expressed my concern that the LA felt the need to submit an edited document. will see what happens next - why do they have to play so dirty?

mariammama Fri 18-Jan-13 21:03:10

If you'll lie in daily life, surely you'll lie on oath too.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 18-Jan-13 21:08:53

If it can be proved at some point, you can be done for perjury. That is the difference. I think many people would think twice about their evidence when faced with that reality? Lying in reports is easy. Lying on oath about things which may be able to be proved to be untrue (eg support offered, visits undertaken etc) is not. Of course, they are still able to give whatever opinion evidence they like.

I think ALL witnesses should have to give evidence on oath.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 18-Jan-13 21:20:07

I would ask next time but would have the advantage of being able to demonstrate that witnesses did lie at the last tribunal. I think LA staff lie if their bosses tell them to knowing there is no come back. If they knew they could be done for perjury they may refuse to lie. But I think there is a feeling it makes you look like neurotic parent. We thought about it last time and didn't ask. The staff did lie and we were able to prove that on the day. However in subsequent complaint LA not concede. Was all 'we know that's your view' have never accepted lied. As our LA was running the parent is difficult argument we did not want to look unreasonable. In hindsight perhaps we should have bitten the bullet. I think you would need to show good reason to assume may lie eg lied previously.

bjkmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 21:25:57

this is my point - they are already showing how dishonest they are being by serving one version of a report on me and then submitting another version on the tribunal and hoping i was too dumb to realise. does it consitute lying? im not sure but it does show that they are capable of trying to be economical with the truth. i agree to a point about being reasonable - i am concerned i am going to be classed as the mum from hell who has questioned everything the LA has done because they have done nothing at all. however i have well and truly covered myself as i have everything in writing and have submitted it all in evidence but there will no doubt mud sling at me at the tribunal

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 18-Jan-13 21:26:59

I'm going to ask for ours as the LA did lie last time.

bjkmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 21:32:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2tirednot2fight Sat 19-Jan-13 13:56:06

I too have considered asking for this at a tribunal hearing and decided it would place me in a bad light potentially so didn't. I am currently writing an update for a DDA hearing and have used the opportunity to politely remind parties that Local Authorities must present all relevant information to the hearing not just that which supports their case. My hope is that this is a half way approach which will be more palatable to the panel but makes the point.

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