15 MARCH 1957, Page 18


SIR,—Mr. Robert Lindley insists in his review of The Queen's Courts (your issue of March 1) that the place of statutory tribunals in the scale of im- portance is not 'after the Courts of Claims and of Chivalry.' Since I devoted a chapter and a half to emphasising just this point, he and I appear to be in agreement.

But the conclusion which he draws is more ques- tionable. If the statement that 'the most important and difficult problems ought ... to be solved by the best judges' means that technical disputes of the kind normally reserved for statutory tribunals should be heard by High Court judges, the practical difficulties are too obvious to require enumeration. Over a limited field, as in the case of the Restrictive Prac- tices Court, it is practicable, but it is not a solution which can be adoped generally unless there is tv be a vast increase in the number of High Court judges.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Lindley means that the standard of appointments to statutory tribunals' is too low, one might expect him to offer evidence for so wide a generalisation. It is unfortunate that the personnel of these tribunals should be subjected to unspecified and unsubstantiated criticism.—Yours faithfully,

[Mr. Lindley writes : 'If Mr. Archer thinks that statutory tribunals are concerned merely with "tech- nical disputes" he should visit some. If he thinks that their problems cannot be dealt with by the regular judiciary, he should (while awaiting the report of the Royal Commission) read Rule of Law (CPC., 2s.). If he thinks that a suggestion that High Court judges are the best judges casts "unspecified and unsubstan- tiated" reflections on members of statutory tribunals, he should consult a dictionary.'—Editor, Spectator.]