Tribunals are a central part of the Scottish justice system and play a vital role in safeguarding the rights of the people they serve.
They hear cases on a range of issues including the compulsory care and treatment of people with mental health disorders; disputes between tenants and landlords; disputes involving land and property; and cases concerning children and young people with additional support needs.
In April 2015 The Scottish Court Service and the Scottish Tribunals Service merged and the following tribunals are administered by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS):
A number of UK-wide tribunals operate in Scotland covering matters such as employment, immigration, and social security. The responsibility for these tribunals rests with HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
The Scottish Committee of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) provided oversight of the operation of tribunals in Scotland. The UK Government formally abolished the AJTC along with its Scottish committee on 19 August 2013.
The Scottish Government's commitment to developing an interim non-statutory ministerial advisory committee on administrative justice and tribunals to replace the Scottish Committee of the AJTC led to the formation of the Scottish Tribunals & Administrative Justice Advisory Committee (STAJAC). This ensured a continuing scrutiny of these devolved matters from out-with the Scottish Government; and that there is a route for any issues affecting the administrative justice and tribunals system to be identified to the Scottish Ministers. The work of the Committee has develop in areas dealing with tribunal reform and the development of a map of the enourmously complex administrative justice landscape in Scotland. STAJAC continue to keep a strategic overview of the whole of the administrative justice system in Scotland;
- identifying to the Scottish Ministers any issues affecting the administrative justice system in Scotland which may require Government attention;
- ensuring users of the system are listened to and their interests are represented; and
- encouraging networks and the sharing of good practice amongst practitioners.
STAJAC as an interim body, will reach the end of its lifespan in November 2015. As part of their remit, a function of the Committee is “to recommend how the functions of the Committee should be carried out in the longer term". To aid in forming their recommendation, the Committee has recently consulted with stakeholders and interested parties to gather thoughts on the their future.