Tribunal is a generic term for any body acting judicially, whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title. For example, an advocate appearing before a Court on which a single Judge was sitting could describe that judge as 'their tribunal'.

In the Roman Catholic Church, a tribunal usually refers to literally one of three instances of ecclesiastical courts: (1) a diocesan tribunal (2) a provincial tribunal, that is, of more than one diocese and commonly referred to as an appellate court (3) the Sacra Rota Romana, or Sacred Roman Rota, the highest court of appeals.

Many bodies that are titled 'tribunals' are so described to emphasize the fact that they are not courts of normal jurisdiction. For example the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is a body specially constituted under international law; in Great Britain, Employment Tribunals are bodies set up to hear specific employment disputes. Private judicial bodies are also often styled 'tribunals'. The word 'tribunal' is not conclusive of a body's function. For example, in Great Britain, the Employment Appeal Tribunal is a superior court of record.

Tribunals in Republic of Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the word tribunal is popularly used to refer to a public inquiry established under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921. The main difference between a Parliamentary Inquiry (non statutory) and a Tribunal of Inquiry in Ireland is that non-statutory inquiries are not vested with the powers, privileges and rights of the High Court; Tribunals of Inquiry are. Tribunals are established by resolution of the Houses of the Oireachtas to enquire into matters of urgent public importance. It is not a function of Tribunals to administer justice, their work is solely inquisitorial. Tribunals are obliged to report their findings to the Oireachtas. They have the power to enforce the attendance and examination of witnesses and the production of documents relevant to the work in hand. Tribunals can consist of one or more people. A layperson, or non lawyer, may be the Sole member of a Tribunal.

Tribunals in the United Kingdom

The tribunal system of the United Kingdom is part the national system of administrative justice. Though it has grown up on an "ad hoc" basis since the beginning of the twentieth century, from 2007 reforms were put in place to build a unified system with recognised judicial authority, routes of appeal and regulatory supervision.

ee also

*State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia
*Public Inquiry
*Revolutionary Tribunal
*Revolutionary tribunal (Russia)
*Waitangi Tribunal
*Nuremberg Trials
*International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
*Iraqi Special Tribunal
*Lindsay Tribunal

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  • tribunal — tribunal, aux [ tribynal, o ] n. m. • XVe; « siège d un juge » fin XIIe; mot lat., de tribunus « tribun » 1 ♦ Lieu où l on rend la justice. ⇒ 1. palais (de justice), prétoire . Dans l enceinte du tribunal. La barre, le parquet; le greffe du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • tribunal — tri‧bu‧nal [traɪˈbjuːnl] noun [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES LAW a court that is given official authority to deal with a particular situation or problem: • The case of your redundancy (= loss of your job ) will be heard by an independent tribunal …   Financial and business terms

  • tribunal — tri·bu·nal /trī byün əl, tri / n [Latin, platform for magistrates, from tribunus tribune, from tribus tribe] 1: the seat of a judge or one acting as a judge 2: a court or forum of justice: a person or body of persons having to hear and decide… …   Law dictionary

  • tribunal — TRIBUNÁL, tribunale, s.n. 1. Instanţă judecătorească (cu atribuţii determinate). ♦ (În vechea organizare judecătorească) Instanţă intermediară între judecătorie şi curtea de apel, care îşi întindea jurisdicţia asupra unui judeţ. 2. Local în care… …   Dicționar Român

  • tribunal — (Del lat. tribūnal). 1. m. Lugar destinado a los jueces para administrar justicia y dictar sentencias. 2. Ministro o ministros que ejercen la justicia y pronuncian la sentencia. 3. Conjunto de jueces ante el cual se efectúan exámenes, oposiciones …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • TRIBUNAL — suggestus erat editior, unde conspici Magistratus ab omnibus poterat, in quo sella Curulis iurisdictionis insigne locata erat, ubi sedens Praetor cognoscebat. Vitruvius Tribunal specie amplissimum, in aede Augusti his verbis describit l. 5. c. 1 …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • tribunal — Tribunal. s. m. Siege du Juge, du Magistrat. Quand le Juge est dans son tribunal, assis sur son tribunal. Il signifie aussi la jurisdiction d un Magistrat, ou de plusieurs qui jugent ensemble. Le Conseil du Roy est le souverain tribunal. ce… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Tribunal — Sn Gericht, Gerichtshof per. Wortschatz fremd. Erkennbar fremd (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. tribunal m., dieses aus l. tribūnal, eigentlich Bühne für den Tribun , zu l. tribūnus m. Oberster , zu l. tribus f. Bezirk, Volk , eigentlich… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • tribunal — s. m. 1. Lugar onde se administra justiça. 2. Lugar onde qualquer magistrado desempenha o seu cargo. 3. Conjunto de magistrados que compõem o tribunal. 4. Audiência. 5. Jurisdição de magistrado. 6.  [Figurado] Diz se da jurisdição de coisas… …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Tribunal — Tri*bu nal, n. [L. tribunal, fr. tribunus a tribune who administered justice: cf. F. tribunal. See {Tribune}.] 1. The seat of a judge; the bench on which a judge and his associates sit for administering justice. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, a court… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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