Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Copyright Tribunal (PAP 24)

  I am replying to your consultation paper on Public Appointments and Patronage on behalf of the Chairman of the Copyright Tribunal.

  The Copyright Tribunal is a small tribunal, sitting for only a few days a year, dealing with the specialist jurisdiction of copyright licensing. It does not seem appropriate therefore to answer your questions in detail, rather I will make a few general observations which I hope will be helpful.

  The Copyright Tribunal comprises a Chairman and two Deputy Chairmen, who must be lawyers, and are appointed by the Lord Chancellor's Department, and up to eight ordinary members, who are appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry.

  The DTI Minister appoints the lay members on the recommendation of a selection panel which includes officials from the Copyright Directorate in the Patent Office, who are well versed in the type of work the Tribunal carries out, and are best placed to select appropriate candidates. When appointments were last made, there were over fifty applicants for three vacancies, so the current system, which follows Nolan guidelines, seems to cast the net wide enough.

  Due to the specialised and complex nature of the work, and the considerable amount of evidence that can be submitted by the parties, the appointing bodies need to be satisfied that the appointees are suitable candidates for the posts and it would therefore be inappropriate for members to be elected, or to carry out the work as part of their civil duty.

  I hope these comments will be of help.

Jill Durdin


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