Devolved Tribunals in Wales

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

Work on the project has now begun. We expect to publish a consultation paper later in the year, and a final report in the summer of 2021.

This page is available in Welsh here.

Problem

A tribunal is a body set up to settle disputes and to review public bodies’ decisions. But the rules and procedures for the devolved Welsh tribunals are complicated and inconsistent, and in some instances, unfit for practice.

The rules and procedures governing Tribunals in Wales have developed piecemeal from a wide range of different legislation.

Much of the legislation was developed outside the devolution process, resulting in gaps in the legislation.

Changes made by the Wales Act 2017, for example, have not been taken into account, including the existence of the President of Welsh Tribunals and the extended scope of the Senedd’s competencies.

The project

The Law Commission will look to make recommendations which will sweep away the complexity and help shape the Tribunals Bill for Wales, designed to regulate a single system for tribunals in Wales.

The project will cover issues including:

  • the scope of a tribunal system for Wales
  • the roles of the President of Welsh Tribunals and the Welsh Tribunals Unit
  • appointment and discipline of Tribunal judges and other members
  • appointment of Presidents/Deputies
  • power to make and standardise procedural rules
  • appeals processes
  • complaints process
  • protecting judicial independence

Next steps

Work on the project has now begun. We expect to publish a consultation paper later in the year, and a final report in the summer of 2021.

Contact

By email at DevolvedTribunalsWales@lawcommission.gov.uk.

Project details

Area of law

Public law

Commissioner

Nicholas Paines QC