Transforming parole in Scotland: consultation

Consultation on proposals to improve the openess and transparency of parole and strengthen the victim's voice in the parole process.

Annex C: More About The Scottish Tribunals

Aim Of The Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014

The main aim of the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014 ('the Act') is to create a simplified framework that provides coherence across the disparate tribunals' landscape. It brings improvements to the structure, management and organisation of tribunals.

In particular, the Act creates a simple two-tier structure and introduces a common system of appointments, practices and procedures, bringing judicial leadership under the Lord President. (See illustration below showing where a the Parole Board might fit within the Chamber structure. Red indicating tribunals that have already transferred)


The Act:

  • Creates two new tribunals – the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (which, generally speaking, will hear cases at first instance) and the Upper Tribunal for Scotland (primarily for appeals) – to be known collectively as the Scottish Tribunals.
  • Allows, through regulations, for the creation of 'Chambers' to house the tribunals in the First-tier – grouped by similar subject jurisdiction and led by Chamber Presidents, who will have responsibility for business within their Chamber. The Chamber Presidents' role will be filled by the existing judicial heads who will transfer-in to the new structure. Chamber Presidents may also be assisted by a Deputy Chamber President, if required.
  • Allows, through regulations, for the creation of 'divisions' in the Upper Tribunal. The functions of the Upper Tribunal will be allocated between divisions in a similar manner as the First-tier is organised into Chambers.
  • Makes the Lord President of the Court Session, Head of the Scottish Tribunals, bringing judicial leadership of the Scottish Tribunals within his remit.
  • The Lord President is directly responsible for representing the views of the members of the Scottish Tribunals to the Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament. He is also responsible for producing rules on conduct and discipline.
  • The Lord President may delegate some of his functions to the President of the Scottish Tribunals (e.g. making arrangements to secure the efficient disposal of business and ensuring the welfare of members). The Lord President has assigned the Right Honourable Lady Smith to the role.
  • Brings tribunal appointments under the remit of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (only for tribunals within the new structure).
  • Gives responsibility for making tribunal rules to the Scottish Civil Justice Council (to be commenced when the Lord President feels the Council is ready to take on this additional work).


Scottish Tribunals Chamber Structure diagram


Email: Sandra Wallace

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