In brief: Limits proposed for tribunal advocates

The Special Educational Needs Tribunal is considering limiting the number of advocates who can attend its hearings. “The question in relation to advocates is whether there should be more than one representative for a party,” said tribunal president Trevor Aldridge QC. He believes the hearings proceed best in an atmosphere of informality and this can be obtained by limiting the number of advocates and people representing or supporting clients. Aldridge said he would be taking in a wide range of views from representatives of organisations whose members regularly attended hearings before making a final decision on restricting entry. During the 1995/96 year only 11 per cent of those who went to the tribunal were represented by lawyers and a further 15 per cent had other representatives.