This is a single section from Chapter 18. Read the full chapter here.

Will a new power be given to a specialist tribunal?

New powers that are given to a specialist tribunal must be consistent with the particular field of expertise of that tribunal, must be appropriate in light of the procedure adopted by the tribunal, and must not impair the tribunal’s independence and impartiality.

Specialist tribunals perform adjudicative functions in a defined specialist jurisdiction. They are independent of the Executive, and their decisions will generally be appealable to the courts of general jurisdiction (see Chapter 28).

If a new power is given to an existing tribunal, the power must relate to matters that are within the specialist jurisdiction of the tribunal. The new power must not conflict with the existing functions of the tribunal, nor should it compromise the tribunal’s independence or the appearance of independence. The tribunal must either possess or be capable of amending its processes to ensure that appropriate procedures and safeguards are in place concerning the exercise of the new power.

The Ministry of Justice must be consulted if new powers are being given to an existing tribunal or if a new tribunal is being created (see Chapter 20).

The Ministry of Justice has produced detailed guidance for departments that are considering whether to create a new tribunal or improve an existing tribunal. The guidance includes information about the powers and procedures that may be appropriate for a tribunal.[1]


[1] Ministry of Justice Tribunal Guidelines—Choosing the Right Decision-making Body; Equipping Tribunals to Operate Effectively (2015).



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