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English Legal System

English Legal System (5th edn)

Helen Rutherford, Birju Kotecha, and Angela Macfarlane
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date: 03 October 2023

p. 65017. Tribunalslocked

p. 65017. Tribunalslocked

  • Helen Rutherford, Helen RutherfordSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University
  • Birju KotechaBirju KotechaSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University
  •  and Angela MacFarlaneAngela MacFarlaneSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University


Tribunals have operated for over 200 years. They are specialised courts dealing in specific areas of legal dispute such as employment, housing, immigration, mental health, social benefits, and tax. This chapter explains the development of tribunals. It examines the major reforms that have taken place in the twenty-first century, resulting in most tribunals being re-organised into ‘chambers’ within the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal. The chapter explains the composition of tribunals and the rules on appointment of tribunal members. It explains the ways in which tribunal decisions may be challenged, either by an appeal to another tribunal or to the courts, or through judicial review. The chapter examines the advantages of tribunals over courts and considers whether tribunals are becoming too much like the mainstream courts.

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