In conducting the research reported in this book, we have been indebted to a number of individuals and organizations. Mention should first be made of the Nuffield Foundation which generously funded the study, and we are particularly grateful to its Deputy Director, Patricia Thomas, for her assistance and advice throughout the period of the research.
His Honour Judge Byrt, QC, who was the President of Social Security Appeal Tribunals at the time of our study, offered us every encouragement as we set about our enquiry, and his seven Regional Chairmen, who were freely consulted on many occasions, similarly did much to ease the difficulties that confronted us in our visits to tribunals in their areas.
Officials within the Department of Social Security and Department of Employment provided us with much valuable advice about how we might go about the study, and many officers agreed to be interviewed by us or in other ways to participate in our enquiry. As we report in this book, these officers are as a rule obliged to work under intense pressure, and their readiness to spare time for us was always much appreciated. Tribunal chairmen, members, presenting officers, and appellants also found time to talk to us, despite the inconvenience that our interviews often created for them. We are indebted to all these individuals, and we must concede that, whatever might be the limitations of the study, these cannot fairly be blamed on the people from whom we sought assistance.
Our colleague, Professor John Miller, and Mr John Mesher of Sheffield University, very kindly undertook to read the original manuscript in its entirety, and their many insightful comments, observations, and criticisms have done much to improve the quality of the text. We would also like to thank Richard Hart, Law Editor at Oxford University Press, for his encouragement and support at all stages.
Timothy Boyce, Elizabeth Clark, Kerry Devlin, Polly Durstan, Helen Gillespie, Howard Hymanson, Justin Kopelowitz,