Tribunals

Worthy of mention here is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council whose main role is to act as the final appeal court for the legal systems of the smaller British Commonwealth countries which have no supreme court of their own. The Privy Council hears both criminal and civil appeals and its decision is binding on the Commonwealth court from which the appeal has come. It is not binding on any other Commonwealth country. Tribunals are the product of legislation. Tribunals are bodies other than Courts of Law, with statutory jurisdiction to determine claims usually, but not necessarily, between an individual or commercial organisation and a Government department. Tribunals are intended to provide expert knowledge but more quickly and less expensively than under the Court system. There are over 50 different types of tribunal, each with its own limited jurisdiction over a particular type of claim, e.g. the National Insurance Tribunals; Industrial Tribunals. The intention of the system is that every tribunal shall be readily accessible to the persons bringing their cases. Some tribunals are called ‘Commissions’ whilst some others are called ‘Committees’.