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A general term for a court, or the seat of a judge.

In Roman Law, the term applied to an elevated seat occupied by the chief judicial magistrate when he heard causes.


n. any court, judicial body, or board which has quasi-judicial functions (such as a public utilities board which sets rates or a planning commission which can allow variances from zoning regulations).


noun bench, chancery, court, court of jussice, court of law, forum, iudicium, judges, judgment seat, judiciary, law court, panel of judges
Associated concepts: administrative tribunal, appellate tribuual, fair tribunal, inferior tribunal, tribunal of limited jurisdiction
See also: assembly, bar, bench, board, body, chamber, council, court, forum, judicatory, judicature, judiciary, jury


a body convened to hear a dispute. While a court is a kind of tribunal, the word is often used for something which is not a court. In the constitutional law of the UK, an alternative forum for the resolution of disputes instead of the ordinary courts. They are mostly miscellaneous and are set up by statutes for various purposes. They quite often have entirely different rules of evidence and procedure from ordinary courts. They are generally supposed to be more flexible, more expert and speedier than the normal courts. They operate in many fields, including taxation, immigration, and landlord and tenant cases. The lives of many are affected by social security tribunals and the EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS appear to have been so much of a success that they are busy, respected and are given new jurisdictions from time to time. Some form of appeal usually lies from a tribunal, at least on law, to the ordinary courts, and there is a supervisory jurisdiction in the COUNCIL ON TRIBUNALS.

In the international sphere where the legal foundations are less solid, the German and Japanese war criminals were tried by an International Military Tribunal. At the time of writing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is still sitting. It was established under the Charter of the United Nations. See also WAITANGI TRIBUNAL.

TRIBUNAL. The seat of a judge; the place where he administers justice; but by this term is more usually understood the whole body of judges who compose a jurisdiction sometimes it is taken for the jurisdiction which they exercise.
     2. This term is Latin, and derives its origin from the elevated seat where the tribunes administered justice.

References in classic literature ?
John Carter," he said in his deep, martial voice, "take your place upon the Pedestal of Truth, for you are to be tried by a fair and impartial tribunal of your fellow-men.
Perhaps he glanced at the Lyons sausage, and perhaps he glanced at the veal in savoury jelly, but they were not there long, to make his mouth water; Monsieur Rigaud soon dispatched them, in spite of the president and tribunal, and proceeded to suck his fingers as clean as he could, and to wipe them on his vine leaves.
A higher Judge had taken the matter in hand, and Jefferson Hope had been summoned before a tribunal where strict justice would be meted out to him.
The experience of ages, with the continued and combined labors of the most enlightened legislatures and jurists, has been equally unsuccessful in delineating the several objects and limits of different codes of laws and different tribunals of justice.
It is also necessary to know what tribunals in different places should have different things under their jurisdiction, and also what things should always come under the cognisance of the same magistrate; as, for instance, decency of manners, shall the clerk of the market take cognisance of that if the cause arises in the market, and another magistrate in another place, or the same magistrate everywhere: or shall there be a distinction made of the fact, or the parties?
At that time the two famous decrees were being prepared that so agitated society- abolishing court ranks and introducing examinations to qualify for the grades of Collegiate Assessor and State Councilor- and not merely these but a whole state constitution, intended to change the existing order of government in Russia: legal, administrative, and financial, from the Council of State down to the district tribunals.
How many years he went on worrying the tribunals of his country to turn out the Duke in possession, and to put himself in the Duke's place--how many lawyer's purses he filled to bursting, and how many otherwise harmless people he set by the ears together disputing whether he was right or wrong-- is more by a great deal than I can reckon up.
LAHORE -- The Election Tribunal probing rigging allegations in NA-122 announced its verdict on Saturday.
LAHORE -- An election tribunal on Thursday adjourned the hearing of NA-122 alleged rigging case.
Speakers include judges from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, led by Reudiger Wolfrum, and other experts.
This account of military tribunals depicts a contrast to American and British practices that would have been more instructive if Richards had clarified the implications of these differences in military tribunal practices.
Recent figures show that tribunal claims have soared in the past year, with more workers prepared to tackle their employers over issues ranging from salary to working hours.

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