Memorandum by the Copyright Tribunal (PAP
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.