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THE TRIBUNAL SYSTEM Code and University name Date Introduction Tribunals are described as bodies that are independent from courts with judicial or administrative mandate. Governments form tribunals and their conclusions are legally binding…
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Download file to see previous pages Tribunals gained full judicial mandate in the twentieth century, initially they composed of one chairperson and two experts in the relevant field. Tribunals were perceived to be more user friendly compared to courts due to their low cost and speed. The independence of tribunals got a major boost by the enactment of the human rights act 1998, which provided their full mandate in determining civil rights and criminal charges. This however, raised concern and prompted Sir Andrew Leggatt to draft the 2001 review. This review proposed the removal of tribunals from their sponsoring bodies and a department under the Lord Chancellor be tasked with the responsibility for policy and operations. This department would not engage in any disputes before the tribunal. The 2001 review further proposed the placement of all tribunal members under the leadership of a senior president to advice, support, and improve information which would help users to represent themselves where possible. The proposals were accepted and the Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 was drafted and a harmonized Tribunals service was formed in April 2006 for all UK tribunals. A tribunal council under 2007 Act was established and tasked with reviewing the administrative justice system (ADAMS A, 2006). Reasons for Formation of Tribunals Before the Second World War, various tribunals were created to deal with issues such as War pensions, unemployment benefits, and old age pensions etc. However, in 1957 the tribunal system was under scrutiny by the Franks Committee. Frank suggested that tribunals were cheap, easily accessible, less complex and employs expert knowledge. It is known that the growth of Tribunals took place in an ad hoc form to deal with specific needs and demands (ADAMS A, 2006). Types of Tribunals Tribunals are part of the civil justice system. Some Tribunals function under local authorities or under government institutions. Tribunals exist in various forms depending on the case at hand. They include; First-Tier Tribunal/ the Upper Tribunal The First-tier Tribunal deals with appeals against government and public departments decisions. The Upper Tribunal based on the law hears appeals from the First-tier Tribunals. The Tribunal judges are qualified and the members of the Tribunal are specialists in various fields such as doctors, accountants, ex-service personnel etc (ADAMS A, 2006). Education Tribunals They are formed to resolve disputes that arise between parents and the school system concerning their children. They include: School Admission Appeal Panel These panels exist for parents whose children are denied admission to their preferred school. It cuts across primary, secondary, and maintained grammar schools. The admissions authority has the role of admitting a child and complying with parent’s preference unless doing so would jeopardize the efficiency and proper learning of other children. The school has to have an admission limit beyond which injustices would arise (ADAMS A, 2006). School Exclusion Appeal Panels Parents have the right to appeal whenever their children are excluded from school. The powers of the panel will depend on the nature and length of the exclusion. Not every disciplinary case amounts to exclusion, for example offences committed away from the school site or exclusion based on medical grounds. The panel’s options include upholding exclusion or directing reinstatement (ADAMS A, 2006). Special Educational needs and disability ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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