Important part in legal system and acts like specialized courts  each dealing with only one area of law.

Many deal with disputes concerning welfare and social rights.

Sits alongside courts for specific types of law. 

1 of 11

Types of tribunals




2 of 11

Administrative tribunals

Deals with disputes between individuals and State over rights contained in social welfare legislation e.g. social security, immigration and land.

Deal with administrative law not civil law meaning Act of Parliament's created tribunal for specific purpose e.g. Nation Insurance Act 1965 set up tribunal to hear disputes on natters as claims for unemploymeny and sickness benefit.

As there was over 70 different A.T with different rules and procedures, it became complicated and users felt intimidated and confused by system so Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 reformed system to make simpler and user friendly. 

This followed recommendations of Sir Andrew Leggatt.

3 of 11

Employment tribunals

Biggest use of tribunals and deals with disputes between employees and employers over rights under employment legislation.

Set up in 1964.

Deals with matters like discrimination, equal pay, dismissal and payment of wages.

4 of 11

Domestic tribunals

Internal tribunals used for disputes within private bodies e.g. Law Society and general Medical Council. 

Deals with professional condict e.g. doctors, solicitors,barristers and footballers.

5 of 11


Consists of three people: neutral chair person, and one representative from each side e.g. union representative/specialist in area.

Date back to birth of welfare states and established to give people a way of making sure their rights were enforced.

If case fails at Tribunal stage there's no redress to courts where as in ADR, parties still get option of going court to resolve dispute. 

6 of 11

Tribunals procedure

The Franks Committe (1957) said tribunals should be:

  • independent
  • accessible
  • prompt
  • expert
  • informal
  • cheap
7 of 11

Tribunals procedure

Procedure for each tribunal varies, many using no formal rules pf evidence/procedure. 

Tribunals still requite level of formality that keeps in line with 'natural justice'.

In all tribunals individuals are encouraged to bring own case and not use lawyers.

Apart from only few tribunals, mostly covered by Human Rights issues, legal aid isn't avaiable so anyone wishing to represented by lawyer has to pay own legal costs.

8 of 11

Tribunals procedure

Since reform and restructing of tribunals in 2007 there's an appeal route.

Supreme Court

Court of Appeal (complex cases on points of law)

Upper trobunal (appeal)

First tier tribunal (where claimant go first following decision against them)

9 of 11

Tribunals procedure

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCE) provides new judicial and legal framework, bringing together individual Tribunals into new, unified tribunals structure. 

Most chanages result from Act affect organisation of tribunals rather than what happens at individual hearings. 

Act framework creates new two-tier Tribunal system:

  • First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, both of which are split into chambers.
  • first tier tribunals where dispute against government decision is heard for first time.
  • Upper tribunals are reserved for appeals. 
10 of 11

Tribunals procedure

Reform in effect collapses over 70 tribunals into 7 lower tier tribunals dealing with a number of administrative issues.

From decision of 7 tribuals a person can appeal to one of 4 upper tier tribunals which has power to overturn decision made below. 

11 of 11


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Civil courts and ADR resources »