Tribunal Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Tribunal, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Tribunal?

The place from where a judge presides and administer justice ie court; the body of judges which forms a jurisdiction eg a board, a commission or a referee.

History and Meaning of Tribunal

The term "tribunal" originated from the Latin word "tribunus" which means "a presiding officer." The word was historically used to refer to a person or a group of people empowered to pass judgment on behalf of another. In the legal context, a tribunal is a formal assembly or court, where a judge or a group of judges sit to adjudicate disputes, conduct inquiries or make administrative decisions. Tribunals may be permanent bodies or temporary committees created to deal with specific issues or conflicts.

Examples of Tribunal

  1. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was established to deal with war crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s.
  2. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law has a dispute resolution tribunal to deal with commercial disputes between member states.
  3. The Financial Ombudsman Service in the UK is a tribunal that resolves disputes between consumers and financial service providers.
  4. The Employment Tribunal in the UK deals with disputes between employers and employees, such as workplace discrimination or unfair dismissal.
  5. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has a tribunal that decides on payment disputes between healthcare providers and Medicare.

Legal Terms Similar to Tribunal

  1. Court - A tribunal that has the authority to hear and adjudicate legal disputes.
  2. Arbitration - A process where a neutral third party is chosen to make a legally binding decision on a dispute instead of a court.
  3. Administrative hearing - A tribunal for resolving disputes between individuals and government agencies.
  4. Board of inquiry - A tribunal that is appointed to investigate a specific issue or conflict.
  5. Commission - A tribunal that has been empowered to regulate or oversee a particular industry or field.