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Lands Tribunal Has Power to Strike Out for Abuse of Process

George Mackenzie

The Lands Tribunal has held that it does have the power to strike out proceedings for abuse of process pursuant to rule 8(3)(c) of the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) (Lands Chamber) Rules 2010 (“the 2010 Rules”). 

Rule 8(3)(c) provides that “The Tribunal may strike out the whole or a part of the proceedings if…the Tribunal considers there is no reasonable prospect of the case of the appellant, applicant or claimant, or part of it, succeeding.” Nothing in the 2010 Rules expressly confers on the Tribunal a power to strike out proceedings if they comprise an abuse of process, but the Tribunal concluded that the test in rule 8(3)(c) (i.e. the lack of a reasonable prospect of succeeding) would be met in the event that the proceedings were abusive such that they had no prospect of success. 

The case concerned three conjoined rating appeals in which a ratepayer had made, and subsequently settled, a proposal to alter the list but then sought a ‘second bite of the cherry’ by making a proposal to alter the list to an extent beyond that which had been agreed. The Tribunal held that such conduct amounted to an abuse of process even though it did not engage the doctrine of res judicata. 

George Mackenzie was instructed by HMRC Solicitors. A copy of the decision can be found here