Scottish Tribunals


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What are the issues that Scottish Tribunals in Scotland have to deal with?

There are three types of tribunals in Scotland currently:

Those that deal with devolved and some reserved issues, but are subject to specific Scottish Tribunals jurisdictions and structures. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service supports them administratively (such as the Mental Health Tribunal for boost scotlands).

They are administered by Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service and are arranged into First-tier Tribunal Chambers and an Upper Tribunal.

Tribunals that deal in reserved issues and have GB jurisdiction and structures (such the Social Entitlement Chamber of the Second-tier tribunal, which handles appeals relating Social Security and Child Support)

Transferring Scottish tribunals to the new Scottish Tribunals structure is in progress. While it will take some time, some tribunals have already started to see the transition from December 2016 onwards.

  • Organization of the Scottish Tribunals
  • Tribunals in the First-tier Tribunal Chamber or Upper Tribunal structure
  • The Scottish tribunal service is divided into:

First-tier Tribunal is divided into Chambers according the topic. This means that each chamber has a Chamber Specialist with expertise in the topic.

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Upper Tribunal – This tribunal hears appeals on a point in law from a First-tier Tribunal only. It does so only with permission of the First Tier Tribunal or any other tribunal that might have made the decision (e.g., Pensions Appeals Tribunal). The Upper Tribunal may still accept the case if the permission is denied. This section of the business structure can be divided into Divisions.

The Court of Session is the highest civil court. It hears appeals from Upper Tribunal, but only on a point of Law and with permission of the Upper Tribunal. The Court of Session may decide to appeal if the permission is denied.

Although complicated or controversial cases may be sent straight to the Upper Tribunal, most cases will end up going to the First Tier Tribunal.

  • The First-tier Tribunal has five chambers:
  • The Housing and Property Chamber
  • The Health and Education Chamber
  • The Social Security Chamber
  • The General Regulatory Chamber
  • The Tax Chamber
  • Upper Tribunal application form

The Upper Tribunal can be applied to for an appeal against a First-tier Tribunal decision or to request permission to appeal a refusal by the First-tier Tribunal. You can seek assistance from experts on the subject or a Citizens Advice Bureau if you need help filling out a form.

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  • Members of the First-tier Tribunals as well as Upper Tribunals
  • Three types of members could be added to each First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal:
  • Ordinary – With expertise in the subject matter
  • Legal – legally qualified
  • Judicial – From the Scottish Tribunals Courts judiciary

Certain First-tier Tribunal judicial members who are Chamber Specialists may also be civil legal action members of the Upper Tribunal.

Each tribunal has a decision-making function which matches the Chamber process and is responsible for providing independent resolution of disputes.

Scottish Tribunals procedures

When the function of the tribunal is transferred into the new structure, regulations determine the procedure at the First-tier Tribunals. The rules of procedure will remain the same in most cases as when the tribunal was outside the new structure.

Some Scottish Tribunals have specific legislation that governs the hearing procedure. For example, the Mental Health Tribunal for routes scotland.

The procedures at the Upper Tribunal are subject to separate rules.

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