Tribunals

The Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014 established a new, two-tier structure for those Scottish tribunals which have jurisdiction in relation to devolved subject matter.  Its First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal are known collectively as the Scottish Tribunals. 

The First-tier Tribunal will comprise a number of specialist Chambers.  On 1 December 2016, the former Private Rented Housing Panel (PHRP) and the Homeowner Housing Panel (HOHP) were both transferred into the First- tier Tribunal for Scotland. Their functions will now be discharged by the Housing and Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal.

Additional Chambers will be created and it is planned that the functions of the remaining devolved tribunals will be transferred into the new structure over the coming years.

Appeals from the First-tier Tribunals will be to the Upper Tribunal for Scotland with limited onward appeal to the court.

The Upper Tribunal for Scotland will be constituted according to the needs of the particular appeal; it may  comprise the Lord President, acting either alone or with the Chamber President or another judicial member of the Upper Tribunal; it may comprise the President of Tribunals, acting either alone or with the Chamber President or another judicial member of the Upper Tribunal; it may comprise  a Chamber President acting either alone or with a judicial member of the Upper Tribunal for Scotland; or the appeal may be determined by  a designated sheriff alone.

Those appeals which are permitted to proceed from the Upper Tribunal to the court will be to the Inner House of the Court of Session.

The Lord President as head of the judiciary in Scotland is now responsible for training, welfare and conduct of the Scottish Tribunals. 

The Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014 also created the office of President of the Scottish Tribunals, a role which the Lord President assigned to Lady Smith on 14 July 2014. He subsequently delegated various responsibilities to her.  As President of the Scottish Tribunals, Lady Smith is responsible for the efficient disposal of business in the Scottish tribunals, policies for the assignment of the ordinary, legal and judicial members within each of the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal for Scotland and review of the  ordinary and legal members, including, where appropriate, continuing  review of professional competency and development.

Administration of the tribunals and support for its judiciary will continue to be provided by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).

More information about the role and responsibilities of the Housing and Property Chamber can be found on their dedicated website.

Chamber launch marks new era for tribunals