New Year’s honour for village lawyer
PUBLISHED: 09:48 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:48 03 January 2017
A lawyer who combines knowledge of a huge range of legislation with voluntarily help for her fellow villagers has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.
Jennifer Fowler, 71, who lives in Ayot St Peter, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times; “I am delighted, and very surprised. When I got this official-looking letter, I thought it was about my pension.”
Mrs Fowler is the senior advisory lawyer to the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal.
She said: “They couldn’t think what else to call it, so they gave it a ridiculous name.”
The tribunal hears secondary appeals against all kinds of official decisions, on topics as varied as special educational needs, mental health “sections”, war pensions, freedom of information, judicial reviews, and social security rulings.
It sits in Fetter Lane, London, but is officially part of the Royal Courts of Justice.
As no judge can possibly know every aspect of such a wide body of law, Mrs Fowler’s role as a researcher and general assistant keeps the tribunal running smoothly.
But she also has a voluntary position as clerk to the Ayot St Peter Parish Meeting, which convenes every six months to give residents of the tiny village a chance to raise concerns.
Mrs Fowler said: “I have a lot of contacts on both the county and borough councils, so I can put people in touch with them. Ayot St Peter is such a lovely village.”
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