In September 2008 an expert group chaired by Lord Philip, a retired senior judge, published a report on tribunals in Scotland. Its key findings were:
- the tribunal system in Scotland was extremely complex and fragmented;
- there was no standard system for appointing tribunal chairs and members;
- many of Scotland's tribunals worked in isolation, leading to duplication, a variation of standards and performance, and a lack of good value.
The report suggested five options for the future. One of these was to create a Scottish Tribunals Service to support all tribunals operating in Scotland. The report Options for the Future and Supervision of Tribunals in Scotland is available on the website of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council.
Following the 2008 report the Scottish Government decided to create a Scottish Tribunals Service to begin to address the issues raised in the report. The Scottish Tribunals Service was launched on 1 December 2010 and currently supports six tribunals.
Our long-term aim is for the Scottish Tribunals Service to support the majority of tribunals operating in Scotland.
Scottish Government Consultation on a new tribunal system for Scotland
On 23 March 2012 the Scottish Government launched a consultation on reforming Scotland's tribunal system with proposals centring around a unified, integrated structure which will be brought under the judicial leadership of the Lord President. The consultation paper and accompanying easy read guide can be found on the consultation pages of the Scottish Government website. The consultation will run until 15 June 2012.
Events to discuss the proposals further will be taking place on the following dates:
- 16th April 2012 - Dundee (cancelled due to lack of demand)
- 20th April 2012 - Inverness
- 23rd April 2012 - Dumfries
- 27th April 2012 - Edinburgh
- 2nd May 2012 - Glasgow
To register interest for attending one of these events, or for any further information, please contact the Scottish Tribunals Service Policy Team by email to Kyle.MacDonald@scotland.gsi.gov.uk; by phone 0131 244 3634; or at the following address:
Tribunals and Administrative Justice Policy Team
2nd Floor West
St Andrews House