Where they sit and what they do
Tribunals are specialist judicial bodies which decide disputes in a particular area of law. Most tribunal jurisdictions are part of a structure created by the Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
Tribunals decide a wide range of cases ranging from workplace disputes between employers and employees, appeals against decisions of Government departments (including social security benefits; immigration and asylum; and tax credits). They hear about a million cases each year, more than any other part of the justice system. The geographical jurisdiction of tribunals varies – some extend to Scotland and/or Northern Ireland, as well as England and Wales.
Tribunal hearings take place in a variety of settings including specific tribunal hearing rooms or informal court rooms.
Most tribunal appointments are held on a fee-paid basis, but there are around 500 salaried Tribunal Judges. Most tribunal appointments are made through the Judicial Appointments Commission, and must meet the statutory qualification necessary for the particular tribunal. Their retirement age is 75.
Tribunal Judges wear normal business dress, not robes or wigs.