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The Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Tax Chamber) Rules 2009

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Public and private hearings

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32.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs, all hearings must be held in public.

(2) The Tribunal may give a direction that a hearing, or part of it, is to be held in private if the Tribunal considers that restricting access to the hearing is justified—

(a)in the interests of public order or national security;

(b)in order to protect a person’s right to respect for their private and family life;

(c)in order to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information;

(d)in order to avoid serious harm to the public interest; or

(e)because not to do so would prejudice the interests of justice.

(3) Where a hearing, or part of it, is to be held in private, the Tribunal may determine who is permitted to attend the hearing or part of it.

(4) The Tribunal may give a direction excluding from any hearing, or part of it—

(a)any person whose conduct the Tribunal considers is disrupting or is likely to disrupt the hearing;

(b)any person whose presence the Tribunal considers is likely to prevent another person from giving evidence or making submissions freely;

(c)any person where the purpose of the hearing would be defeated by the attendance of that person; or

(d)a person under the age of eighteen years.

(5) The Tribunal may give a direction excluding a witness from a hearing until that witness gives evidence.

(6) If the Tribunal publishes a report of a decision resulting from a hearing which was held wholly or partly in private, the Tribunal must, so far as practicable, ensure that the report does not disclose information which was referred to only in a part of the hearing that was held in private (including such information which enables the identification of any person whose affairs were dealt with in the part of the hearing that was held in private) if to do so would undermine the purpose of holding the hearing in private.

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