Tribunal Reforms

Tribunals are central to our Scottish legal system and play a vital role in safeguarding people from potentially unfair treatment.  They hear cases on a range of issues such as support for learning, the compulsory care and treatment of people with mental health disorders and disputes between tenants and landlords.

The following Tribunals exist in Scotland:

  1. The Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland
  2. The Lands Tribunal for Scotland
  3. The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland
  4. The Pensions Appeal Tribunal Scotland
  5. The Scottish Charity Appeals Panel
  6. The Private Rented Housing Panel
  7. The Homeowner Housing Panel

There are also a number of UK-wide tribunals which operate in Scotland dealing with matters such as employment, immigration and social security.

Despite the important role of Tribunals, the Minister for Legal Affairs, Roseanna Cunningham, has recently stated that “Tribunals are a central part of our justice system, providing access to justice for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  However the current system is overdue for reform – it has developed over a long time in different ways, with differing leadership structures, appointment processes and ways to appeal”.

Therefore, following a consultation exercise in Spring 2012, the Scottish Parliament has published the Tribunals Bill which is designed to introduce improvements.  There will now be a two tier structure – the First Tier Tribunal for hearing first decision cases and the Upper Tribunal Scotland primarily for appeals from the first tier.  A new appointment has been created, The President of Scottish Tribunals, who will be responsible for  ensuring tribunal business runs efficiently and new independent appointment arrangements have been established.

The Minister for Legal Affairs concluded “By simplifying the tribunals’ structure and standardising some processes the Bill will make the system more user-friendly and effective, saving time and resources while retaining the benefits of the current specialised tribunals.”

Our court department can assist in representation at Tribunals.  If you require further information please contact Paul Neilly (

This entry was posted in Legal and tagged , , , by Paul Neilly. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul Neilly

Paul’s first degree was a BA Honours in Financial Services following which he spent five years working for a large insurance company as a pensions specialist. He then completed his law degree at the University of Strathclyde and Diploma in Legal Practice at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law. Paul subsequently joined Mitchells Roberton as a trainee in July 2006 and qualified as a solicitor in September 2008. Principally concerned with civil litigation, Paul specialises in contract disputes, landlord and tenant issues (commercial and residential), debt recovery, family law, employment law and personal injury claims. He also handles cases involving Adults with Incapacity. Paul regularly appears in the Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland and has experience of appearing before Licensing Boards and instructing matters in the Court of Session. Being a general civil litigator Paul is keenly aware of the need to keep step with developments in the law and legal education. This led Paul to join the committee of TANQ, the Trainee and Newly Qualified Society of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow, in which role Paul currently organises seminars and networking events for its members. Paul is married with a young son and daughter. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, reading and watching sport, particularly following the exploits of the national football and rugby teams, although this is more of a vocation than a source of enjoyment.

1 thought on “Tribunal Reforms

  1. Pingback: Children Bill (Scotland) Alert – Peter E. |

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