Other Common Quasi-Legal Authorities

 

Tribunals

  • Tribunals are an independent, specialised part of the justice system of England and Wales.
  • They are set up by Parliament to rule on disputes between individuals or private organisations and state officials.
  • Tribunals sit across the UK. Within England and Wales, there are approximately 100 different tribunals, each dedicated to a distinct area.
  • The most common include those dealing with agricultural land, employment, asylum, immigration and mental health.
  • Tribunals operate their own procedures that are less complicated and more informal than those usually associated with courts.
  • Tribunals are made up of panels comprising a tribunal judge and tribunal members who are often drawn from relevant professions. These members are not necessarily legally qualified but they have valuable specialist knowledge and experience.

 

Ombudsmen

There are also specialist ombudsmen who have been appointed to deal with complaints about an organisation. Using an ombudsman is often a way of trying to resolve a complaint without going to court.

There is a number of ombudsmen, including:

  • the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who investigates complaints about Government departments and certain other public bodies
  • the Local Government Ombudsman, who investigates complaints about local councils and some other local organisations
  • the Financial Ombudsman Service
  • the European Ombudsman
  • the Legal Ombudsman
  • the Housing Ombudsman