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In this case one of the tribunal judges is indicated as having been sitting as a judge of the county court, even though the claim had been brought in the first tier tribunal of residential property.

How did this come about, what exactly does it mean, and what enabled them to sit as a judge of the county court?

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  • Judge Nicol is able to sit as a judge of the county court because he was appointed to the county court, and to sit as a member of the tribunal because he was appointed to the tribunal. The joint sitting is an organisational thing controlled by the executive of the court and tribunal. The interesting questions are, was Nichols retired at the time? Are retired judges still technically judges in that jurisdiction? Was the "retirement" just an organisational thing? Was he re-appointed subsequent to retirement? Is he just running down his cases subsequent to the "announcement" of retirement? Age?
    – david
    Mar 11, 2023 at 22:10

1 Answer 1

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This is explained at paragraphs 2-4 of the decision you link.

  • There were two proceedings: a claim in the county court and an application to the Tribunal.
  • The county court claim was transferred to the Tribunal to be consolidated with the application, and they were to be heard together. (Although, technically there should be no literal "transfer" or "consolidation"; the claim is always a county court claim, separate from the tribunal application. It is just that the matters are heard at the same occasion by inviting a tribunal judge to sit in their capacity as a county court judge. See commentary on City, University of London v. Vodafone Limited (2020).)

In that circumstance, Judge Nicol was sitting as both a tribunal judge and as a county court judge. This is possible because:

On 22 April 2014, the Crime and Courts Act 2013 Sch.9(1) para. 4 was brought into force, providing that judges of the First-tier Tribunal are judges of the county court and therefore able to exercise the jurisdiction of the county court, providing that a claim form has been issued and the matter has been listed for hearing by them.

Stephen Jourdan, K.C., "FTT Judges sitting as judges of the county court" (January 2019)

See also this previous Q&A where this was explained.

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