R (on the Application of Cart) v Upper Tribunal [Sup Ct]

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date22 June 2011
Neutral Citation[2011] UKSC 28
Date22 June 2011

[2011] UKSC 28


Trinity Term

On appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 859


Lord Phillips, President

Lord Hope, Deputy President

Lord Rodger

Lady Hale

Lord Brown

Lord Clarke

Lord Dyson

R (on the application of Cart)
The Upper Tribunal
R (on the application of MR (Pakistan)) (FC)
The Upper Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) and Secretary of State for the Home Department

Appellant (Cart)

Richard Drabble QC

Charles Banner

(Instructed by Bates Wells & Braithwaite LLP)


James Eadie QC

Samuel Grodzinski

(Instructed by DWP/DH Legal Services and Treasury Solicitors)

Appellant (MR)

Manjit Gill QC

Natsai Manyarara

Jay Patel

(Instructed by Archer Fields Solicitors)


James Eadie QC

Samuel Grodzinski

(Instructed by Treasury Solicitors)

Intervener (Public Law Project)

Michael Fordham QC

Tim Buley

(Instructed by Herbert Smith LLP)

Intervener (JUSTICE)

Alex Bailin QC

Aidan O'Neill QC

Iain Steele

(Instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP)


There are three cases before the Court, two on appeal from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and one from the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland. This judgment deals with the two English cases, while a separate judgment will deal with the Scottish case. The issue common to all three is the scope for judicial review by the High Court or Court of Session of unappealable decisions of the Upper Tribunal established under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (the "2007 Act"). It is no longer argued on behalf of the Government that such decisions are not amenable to judicial review at all. But it is argued that they are only reviewable in exceptional circumstances. The claimants argue that no such limit exists. The debate, therefore, has focussed upon the effect of the creation of a wholly new and integrated tribunal structure under the 2007 Act.

The cases


It has been helpful to hear three different cases together, all raising essentially the same question in different contexts. In all of them the claimant failed in an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal set up under the 2007 Act and was refused permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal against that decision both by the First-tier Tribunal and by the Upper Tribunal. In all three the claimant seeks a judicial review of the refusal of permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal.


In R (Cart) v The Upper Tribunal, Mr Cart appealed to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal (whose jurisdiction has since been taken over by the First-tier Tribunal) against the refusal of the Child Support Agency (whose functions have since been taken over by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission) to revise a variation in the level of child maintenance to be paid to his ex-wife for the support of their children. His appeal was dismissed in October 2007. He applied for permission to appeal to the Child Support Commissioners. In June 2008, Commissioner Jacobs gave him permission to appeal on three grounds but refused him permission to appeal on a fourth. The functions of the Child Support Commissioners were then taken over by the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal. Following a hearing in January 2009 the Upper Tribunal, consisting of the Senior President, Carnwath LJ, and Tribunal Judge Jacobs (as the Commissioner had now become) dismissed his appeal on the three grounds for which permission had been given and declined permission to reopen the fourth: [2009] UKUT 62 (AAC).


Mr Cart sought judicial review of the Upper Tribunal's refusal of permission to appeal on the fourth point. It was agreed that the amenability of the Upper Tribunal to judicial review should be determined as a preliminary issue. In December 2009, the Divisional Court dismissed his claim for judicial review, holding that this was only available in exceptional circumstances: [2009] EWHC 3052 (Admin), [2010] 2 WLR 1012. In July 2010, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal, reaching the same result but by a different route: [2010] EWCA Civ 859; [2011] 2 WLR 36. It will be necessary to return to their reasoning in due course. Mr Cart now appeals to this Court.


R (MR (Pakistan)) v The Upper Tribunal concerns a native of Pakistan who has been in the United Kingdom since June 2007. At that stage he had a multi-visit visa valid until June 2009. In March 2010 he applied for asylum on the basis of his conversion to Christianity. This was refused in April 2010. His appeal to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal was dismissed less than two weeks later. His application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was refused in May and his application to the Upper Tribunal was refused only days later by Ouseley J, sitting as a judge of the Upper Tribunal.


MR sought judicial review of Ouseley J's decision. Permission to apply was granted by Judge Nicholas Cooke QC, sitting as a High Court Judge. But at the hearing of the claim in December 2010, Sullivan LJ determined a preliminary issue concerning the amenability of the Upper Tribunal to judicial review in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal in Cart and dismissed the claim: [2010] EWHC 3558 (Admin). He granted a certificate under section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1969, so that the appeal against his decision could "leap-frog" over the Court of Appeal and be heard by this Court together with the appeals in Cart and Eba.


In Eba v Advocate General for Scotland, Ms Eba appealed to the Social Entitlement Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal against the refusal of her claim for disability living allowance. Her appeal was also refused, as were her applications both to the First-tier Tribunal and to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal against that refusal.


Ms Eba's petition for judicial review of each of those decisions was dismissed by the Lord Ordinary, who followed the reasoning of the Divisional Court in Cart: [2010] CSOH 45, 2010 SLT 547. She reclaimed that refusal, on the ground that judicial review was not so limited. The Advocate General cross-appealed on the ground that the Upper Tribunal was not amenable to judicial review at all. The First Division refused the cross appeal but allowed Ms Eba's reclaiming motion on the basis that the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court of Session was not so limited and that, notwithstanding the decision of the Court of Appeal in Cart, it did not follow that the result should be the same in Scotland: [2010] CSIH 78; 2010 SLT 1047. The First Division granted the Advocate General permission to appeal to this Court.


Conveniently, however, we heard first the arguments of all three claimants, Mr Richard Drabble QC for Mr Cart, Mr Jonathan Mitchell QC for Ms Eba, and Mr Manjit Gill QC for MR, followed by oral arguments for two of the interveners, Mr Michael Fordham QC for the Public Law Project, and Mr James Mure QC for the Lord Advocate, followed by Mr James Eadie QC for the Secretaries of State for Justice and for the Home Department and the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and Mr David Johnston QC for the Advocate General for Scotland. Mr Alex Bailin QC and others also made helpful written submissions on behalf of the intervener JUSTICE. It has been particularly useful to be able to look at the issues in the context of the two jurisdictions, social security (including for this purpose child support) and immigration and asylum, which together make up the great bulk of the business of the new tribunal system, and in the context of the supervisory jurisdiction of the higher courts in both Scotland and England and Wales.


The judgment in Eba will deal with the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court of Session in Scotland while this judgment will deal with the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court in England and Wales. The tribunal systems with which we are concerned, both before and after their restructuring in the 2007 Act, however, are common to both parts of the United Kingdom, and in many contexts also to Northern Ireland.

The tribunal system


One of the most important and controversial features of the development of the legal system in the 20 th century was the creation and proliferation of statutory tribunals separate from the ordinary courts. Mostly they were set up to determine claims between an individual and the state – to war pensions, to social security benefits, to immigration and asylum, to provision for special educational needs, to be released from detention in a psychiatric hospital, against the refusal or withdrawal of licences or approvals to conduct certain kinds of business, for the determination of liability to direct and indirect taxation, for compensation for compulsory purchase and so on. In some instances, they were set up to adjudicate upon statutory schemes, generally those which modified what would otherwise be an ordinary contractual relationship between private persons – between employer and employee or between landlord and tenant of residential property.


These jurisdictions were – and remain – very diverse. The subject matter can range from liability to VAT or entitlement to performing rights or the price of leasehold enfranchisement, which can be worth millions of pounds, to the amount of weekly means-tested benefits or war pensions entitlement, which may be worth only a few pounds at a time but may mean a great deal to the claimants involved and to others like them. The judiciary, also, could – and still can - be very diverse, ranging from seconded High Court judges or senior Queen's Counsel to fee-paid part-timers from a great variety of legal professional backgrounds. In many cases, tribunals also had – and still may have - members who were not legally qualified but had other professional...

To continue reading

Request your trial
257 cases
  • R (BB) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 2 August 2011
  • Re BBC
    • United Kingdom
    • Supreme Court (Scotland)
    • 8 May 2014
    ...established a prima facie case for setting aside the Upper Tribunal's decision, applying the test laid down in R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28; [2012] 1 AC 663 and Eba v Advocate General for Scotland [2011] UKSC 29; 2012 SC (UKSC) 1; [2012] 1 AC 710, and, if so, whether the balanc......
  • Jd (Congo) Wn (Gambia) Es (Iran) Mr (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Public Law Project (Intervener)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 16 March 2012
    ...it was in conflict with the judgments of the Supreme Court in R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal (Public Law Project and another intervening) [2011] 3WLR 107, [2011] UKSC 28 (" Cart"), and was wrongly decided. 10 On behalf of the Respondent, Mr. Blundell submitted that the statutory langua......
  • R Hs and Others v The Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 28 November 2012
    ...legislation in paragraphs 26 and 27 of the speech of Lady Hale in R(Cart) v The Upper Tribunal; R(MR(Pakistan) v The Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28). 15 The second-tier appeals criteria is that either (a) the proposed appeal would raise some important point of principle or practice; or (b) t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 firm's commentaries
  • First-Tier Tribunal Onward Immigration Appeals - A Practical Guide
    • United Kingdom
    • Mondaq UK
    • 30 July 2021
    ...known as a "Cart" Judicial Review, named after the Supreme Court judgment that introduced it: Cart v The Upper Tribunal (Rev 1) [2011] UKSC 28. In Scotland, the relevant case is Eba v Advocate General for Scotland (Scotland) [2011] UKSC 29. This has a much shorter timeframe than o......
8 books & journal articles
  • Revisiting the Precedential Status of Crown Court Decisions
    • United Kingdom
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The Nbr. 85-1, February 2021
    • 1 February 2021
    ...Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 s 3(5).25. R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2009] EWHC 3052 (Admin); [2010] 2 WLR 1012, [75], and on appeal [2011] UKSC 28; [2012] AC 663, [43]; Gilchrist v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2014] UKUT 169 (TCC); [2015] Ch 183, [88]. 26. Senior Courts Act 1981 s 4......
  • Re-Evaluating the Doctrine of Deference in Administrative Law
    • United Kingdom
    • Federal Law Review Nbr. 45-4, December 2017
    • 1 December 2017
    ...sources (especially the rule of law) challenging Diceyan orthodoxy: eg R (Jackson) v A-G [2006] 1 AC 262; R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2012] 1 AC 663 (‘Cart’). Meanwhile, in reviewing administrative action, Australian courts have increasingly emphasised the supremacy of legislatures (within c......
  • Judicial Review: How Much is Too Much? A View of Eba, Cart and MR (Pakistan) from the Asylum and Immigration Perspective
    • United Kingdom
    • Edinburgh Law Review Nbr. , May 2012
    • 1 May 2012
    ...In Eba, Cart and MR (Pakistan),11Eba v Advocate General for Scotland [2011] UKSC 29, [2011] 3 WLR 149; R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28, [2011] 3 WLR 107. All subsequent references to Cart or Eba are to these decisions unless otherwise indicated. the Supreme Court decided what would......
  • Black Spiders Weaving Webs: The Constitutional Implications of Executive Veto of Tribunal Determinations
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review Nbr. 79-1, January 2016
    • 1 January 2016
    ...s 3(5).36 n 29 above, 491 discussing the social security appeal tribunal as an example.37 ibid, 490.38 In R(Cart)vThe Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28, Lady Hale said that even the Upper Tribunalcould be judicially reviewed in some circumstances which perhaps also evidences the fact thattribun......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 provisions
  • The Civil Procedure (Amendment No.2) Rules 2012
    • United Kingdom
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 January 2012
    ...the application of MR (Pakistan)) v. The Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 28 ...

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT