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Compensation (Defence) Act 1939

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Tribunals for determining disputes

7Determination of claims by tribunals in default of agreement

Any dispute as to whether any compensation is payable under this Act, or as to the amount of any compensation so payable, shall, in default of agreement, be referred to, and determined by, the appropriate tribunal constituted under the following provisions of this Act, and the decision of that tribunal shall be final:

Provided that at any stage in proceedings before it the tribunal may, and, if so directed by the High Court, shall, state in the form of a special case for the opinion of that Court any question of law arising in the course of the proceedings.

8Constitution of tribunals

(1)For the purpose of determining disputes as to the payment of compensation under this Act in respect of the requisition or acquisition of vessels or the taking of space or accommodation therein, there shall be a Shipping Claims Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as " the Shipping Tribunal "), consisting of a president and two other members appointed by the Lord Chancellor.

(2)The president and one of the other members of the Shipping Tribunal shall be respectively members of the legal profession who appear to the Lord Chancellor to have a special knowledge of commercial and admiralty law; and the third member of the Tribunal shall be a person appearing to the Lord Chancellor to have special qualifications as an average adjuster or accountant.

(3)For the purpose of determining disputes as to the payment of compensation under this Act, other than disputes which by virtue of the preceding provisions of this Act are to be determined by the Shipping Tribunal, there shall be a General Claims Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as " the General Tribunal "), consisting of not less than seven persons appointed by the Lord Chancellor (including a judge of the High Court), together with a judge of the Court of Session appointed by the Lord President of the Court of Session and a judge of the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland appointed by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

(4)The General Tribunal may sit in several divisions, so, however, that no division shall consist of less than three members of the Tribunal.

(5)There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament—

(a)to any member of a tribunal constituted under this Act such remuneration (if any) as the Lord Chancellor, with the approval of the Treasury, may determine in his case, and

(b)the amounts necessary to defray such expenses of the tribunals constituted under this Act as the Lord Chancellor and the Treasury may approve.

9Incidental powers of tribunals

(1)Each of the tribunals constituted under this Act shall have the following powers, that is to say:—

(a)to make, with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, rules prescribing the procedure for notifiying, presenting and hearing claims and all matters incidental thereto;

(b)to order persons to attend and give evidence, and to produce and give discovery and inspection of documents, in like manner as in proceedings in the High Court;

(c)to award and assess, or direct the assessment of, such sums by way of costs as the tribunal in its discretion thinks just, and in particular to award costs to an unsuccessful claimant where such an award appears to the tribunal to be justified on the merits of the case;

(d)to call in the aid of one or more assessors specially qualified, and hear any claim wholly or partly with their assistance;

(e)to appoint an expert or experts to report on any matter material to the hearing of any claim;

(f)to determine, subject to the approval of the Treasury, the remuneration, if any, of such assessors and experts.

(2)Rules made in pursuance of paragraph (a) of the preceding subsection may contain provisions authorising a tribunal to take into consideration any matter which the tribunal considers relevant to the subject of the inquiry before it, notwithstanding that the matter is not admissible in evidence under the law relating to evidence.

(3)The High Court shall have, for the purposes of and in relation to any proceedings under this Act, the same power of making orders in respect of any of the matters specified in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section as it has for the purpose of and in relation to an action or matter in that Court.

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