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Vol 22 No 6 June/July 2017

Book of the Month

Cover of Supperstone, Goudie and Walker: Judicial Review

Supperstone, Goudie and Walker: Judicial Review

Edited by: Helen Fenwick
Price: £267.00

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Law in a Complex State: Complexity in the Law and Structure of Welfare


ISBN13: 9781849464451
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £29.99



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Approximately half of the total UK population are in receipt of one or more welfare benefits, giving rise to the largest single area of government expenditure.

The law and structures of social security are highly complex, made more so by constant adjustments as government pursues its often conflicting economic, political and social policy objectives. This complexity is highly problematic. It contributes to errors in decision-making and to increased administrative costs and is seen as disempowering for citizens, thereby weakening enjoyment of a key social right.

Current and previous administrations have had a commitment to simplify the benefits system. It is a specific objective underlying the introduction via the Welfare Reform Act 2012 of Universal Credit in place of diverse benefits, although it is not clear that the reformed system will be less complex legally and for citizens to access.

The book seeks to explain how and why complexity in modern welfare systems has grown; identify the different ways in which legal and associated administrative arrangements are classifiable as 'complex'; discuss the effects of complexity on the system's administration and its wider implications for rights and the citizen–state relationship; and consider the role that law can play in the simplification of schemes of welfare.

It makes reference not only to the UK welfare system but also relevant policies and experience in various other states.

Subjects:
Social Security and Welfare Law
Contents:
1. Complexity and Welfare
I. Introduction
II. Law and the Goals of Welfare
III. Social Security, Fundamental Rights and the Citizen
IV. The Problem of Complexity
V. The Policy Context: Simplifying Welfare
VI. Analysing Complexity
VII. Conclusion
2. The Design, Structure and Management of the Welfare System
I. Introduction
II. Design
III. 'Extrinsic Complexity'
IV. Management of Welfare
V. Conclusion
3. Rules and the Measurement of Complexity
I. Introduction
II. Complex Rules
III. Measuring Complexity?
IV. Conclusion
4. Claims and Their Administration
I. Introduction
II. Take-Up and Claims
III. Administration of Claims
IV. Conclusion
5. Challenges to Decisions
I. Introduction
II. Revision and Supersession
III. Alternative Dispute Resolution?
IV. Appeals in the First-Tier Tribunal
V. The Upper Tribunal and Beyond
VI. Conclusion
6. Obligations of Benefit Recipients
I. Introduction
II. The Relationship between a Benefit Recipient and the State
III. Managing the Relationship: Incapacity for Work
IV. Conclusion
7. Welfare Complexity in the International Context
I. Introduction
II. 'A Maze of Provisions . . .': Social Security Law and Welfare Provision in Australia
III. New Zealand's Major Welfare Reform Programme
IV. Germany: The Sozialgesetzbuch
V. Sweden: Codifying Social Insurance Law and Reforming Sickness Benefits
VI. Simplification Tendencies Elsewhere
VII. Conclusion
8. Conclusion: The Complex State of Welfare
I. Defending Complexity
II. Trade-Offs
III. Basic Income?
IV. The Claimant
V. The Law and Its Role
VI. Danger Ahead?