Two tier structure
The tribunal system in Scotland is currently being modernised to create a unified 2-tier structure.
The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland deals with first instance decisions. These are cases heard at a tribunal for the first time.
The Upper Tribunal primarily hears cases that are appealed from the First-tier Tribunal.
From the Upper Tribunal, any appeal hearing would go to the Court of Session.
Each devolved tribunal is undergoing a transition into the new system, and the diagram below shows the structure of those that have transferred so far.
Tribunal member types
There are a number of different tribunal member types.
President of Scottish Tribunals
You can watch an interview with the former President Lord Woolman where he discusses the Scottish tribunals and other matters including his career path.
The chamber presidents are responsible for the arrangement of business
within their chamber. Each chamber president has expertise and experience in the jurisdictions over which they preside.
Members of court judiciary can be assigned to a tribunal when appropriate.
These are legally qualified members.
These are non-legally qualified members and are generally people with a specific area of expertise, for example chartered surveyors, accountants and teachers.
The Lord President is the Head of the Scottish Tribunals and he assigns a Court of Session judge as president of the Scottish Tribunals.
Other tribunal appointments are the responsibility of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS). Recommendations for appointment are made by JABS to the Scottish ministers.
The tribunals that have transferred into the new structure continue to receive induction and specialist training within their jurisdictions, within a quality assurance framework led by the Judicial Institute. Additionally, the Judicial Institute provides cross-jurisdictional training in judicial skills.
Links to the tribunal chambers
For more information see the tribunal chamber websites.
For more information, see the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014.
Complaints about the personal conduct of Scottish tribunal members inside or outside of a hearing can be made to the Judicial Office for Scotland.