Structure and Role of Tribunals

Structure and Role of Tribunals

In England and Wales, tribunals are specialist bodies that have the power to hear and resolve disputes in a specific area of law. They provide an alternative to the civil court system and are often quicker, cheaper, and more informal than traditional courts. There are many different types of tribunals, including those that deal with employment, immigration, social security, tax, and land disputes.

The tribunal system in England and Wales is hierarchical, with the First-tier Tribunal being the first level of appeal and the Upper Tribunal being the second level of appeal. The First-tier Tribunal is divided into various chambers, with each chamber having jurisdiction over a particular area of law. For example, there are Employment Tribunal Chamber, Tax Chamber, and Social Entitlement Chamber.

The role of tribunals is to resolve disputes between individuals or organisations and government bodies or public authorities. For example, an Employment Tribunal may hear cases where an employee is claiming unfair dismissal or discrimination against their employer, while a Social Security Tribunal may hear cases where an individual is appealing a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to refuse or reduce their benefit payments.

The key advantages of tribunals are that they are specialised, flexible, and accessible. They are designed to be more informal and user-friendly than traditional courts, and they often use more informal procedures, such as oral hearings or written submissions. This can make the process quicker and cheaper for those involved. In addition, tribunals often have specialist knowledge and expertise in a particular area of law, which can lead to better decision-making and outcomes for the parties involved.

The tribunal system plays an important role in the justice system in England and Wales. They offer an alternative to the civil court system and provide a more accessible, specialised, and user-friendly means of resolving disputes.
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