Senior President of Tribunals, The Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder, and the President of Scottish Tribunals, The Rt Hon Lady Smith, have together opened the new Glasgow Tribunals Centre.
They unveiled a plaque at the building, based at Atlantic Quay on the River Clyde, where a number of tribunals supported by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) and HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) are now co-located.
In creating it, the SCTS saw an opportunity to collaborate with HMCTS on a new facility which met their own objectives to provide accommodation for new and expanding Scottish Tribunals but drew the two jurisdictions together to provide bespoke tribunal hearing rooms and services for tribunal users. The result is a flagship facility underpinned with opportunities for further collaboration.
The centre provides 34 shared tribunal hearing rooms, nine waiting rooms, a range of consultation rooms, and a public café run by the social enterprise Spoon. There is office accommodation for 40 members of the tribunals’ judiciary and, when fully occupied, will provide accommodation for around 300 SCTS and HMCTS staff.
Sir Ernest said: “The Glasgow Tribunal Centre is not only a significant exercise in co-operation and joint working between our jurisdictions, it is also a building of the highest quality that embodies an innovative vision for the future.
“The administration of justice for tribunal users in Scotland will be greatly enhanced as a consequence. I am very grateful to all of those who have worked so hard to deliver this fabulous achievement.”
Lady Smith said: “This new centre represents another significant development in the ongoing work to move tribunals in Scotland into a modern, independent environment, attuned to the needs of all involved whether from the perspective of user, administration or tribunals judiciary. It will provide tribunals with new opportunities for innovation and improvement.
“I am particularly pleased that it has been possible to co-locate tribunals whose leadership and administration currently derives from separate systems and look forward to exploring ways of working that enable us to learn from and support each other.”
Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive of HMCTS, said: “This collaboration has been a great success. HMCTS and SCTS continue to provide tribunal services to meet the needs of all of our tribunal users in Glasgow, and more widely across central Scotland.”