How the Tribunal is different from other courts

Tribunals generally have many features that are similar to courts, for example:

* Tribunals, like courts, are independent. They are separated from the executive and legislative branches of government.
* Tribunals and courts are open to the public.
* Tribunals and courts have a duty to be transparent by providing reasons for their decisions.
* Parties have the right to appeal against decisions of courts and tribunals.

Some examples of the differences between courts and tribunals include:

* Tribunals have a more relaxed approach to the rules of evidence than courts.
* Tribunals encourage and often require parties to speak on their own behalf. Lawyers are only permitted in special circumstances.
* Tribunals often specialise in resolving disputes in a particular area. Courts generally have the power to hear a much broader range of cases.
* It is usually much cheaper to resolve a dispute at a tribunal rather than have it litigated at court.
To summarize: A court process is designed, for example, to resolve, through adversary presentation and testing of evidence and argument, disputes about facts and law. Sometimes that will require very formal, structured presentation of evidence and arguments. Tribunal procedure by contrast is usually less formal, with the rules of evidence being relaxed in almost all cases. Tribunals are sometimes expected to take an active inquisitorial role in contrast to a more passive court which is dependent on the parties to bring the relevant material before it. They are still however bound by the principles of natural justice.
Tribunals often are more accessible and less costly and allow a greater range of individual and public participation. In the courts a party who wishes to be represented usually is required to engage a lawyer. Tribunals frequently operate without the assistance of lawyers and indeed the use of lawyers is prohibited or limited in some tribunals concerned with private law matters in the interests of informality and lower costs.

Why the Administrative Tribunal has a judge as the Chairman while the Appellate Tribunal has an Administrative Officer as its Chairman?

What you can expect from the KAT ?

What you should not expect from the KAT ?

What measures to take if the order of the Tribunal is not enforced?

What actions of Government Departments can be challenged

What languages are allowed ?

Appeal from tribunals to the courts - a contradiction?

The function in question has been conferred on a tribunal (and not on a court) because of the need for expertise, experience, or the consistent application (and perhaps development) of policy, or speed, informality and cost. And yet here we are, in recognition presumably of the proposition that at least one right of appeal should exist, contemplating having the matter going to court. Are we not in danger of having a single judge in a generalist court second guessing an expert multidisciplinary and sometimes multimember tribunal which has been developing and applying relevant public interest policies? Or of a formal, costly and delaying further round of argument?

The existence of an appeal system is to be justified by the fact that the appeal decision is likely to be better than the original one. Why? Why is it expected to be better and to be more likely to produce a correct decision? The reasons relate to the body which hears the appeal and the process it follows. If the appeal court is composed of a greater number of judges their qualifications and experience should exceed those of the judge or smaller number of judges in the court below. The parties, their counsel, and the appeal judges should also be helped by the facts that the matter has already been heard and been the subject of a judgment and that the appeal process as a consequence is more focused. Moreover appeal judges should be less pressed for time and less subject to the pressures of litigation. It will be seen that practical matters - as well as ones of principle - are of critical importance for a successful appeal system.

The emphasis has been on the correction of the decision so far as the individual litigant is concerned. That is not however purely a matter of private interest. The state as a whole has an interest in the law being faithfully and correctly enforced and applied by its courts. If that does not happen the substantive law might be put at risk.

Appeals may also serve another important public purpose - the clarification and development of the law. This function arises, if for no other reason, from the multiplicity of lower court decisions with the possibility of inconsistencies between them. Parliament and the Courts have also expressly recognised this function in their statements of the grounds for granting leave to appeal (where appeal is not of right). They often require that the question raised by the appeal present a far reaching question of law or a matter of dominant public interest.

Those reasons for having appeals have to be weighed against the costs of appeals. There are the costs and resources (including the human and public resources involved in the appeal body itself) and the costs arising from the delay in obtaining finality and the risk that a meritorious case would fail because a party cannot afford to take part in the appeal or to await its outcome. And we come back to the legislative choice not to use the courts - at first instance at least -but rather to use another body. To repeat the question, does an appeal to the courts contradict that initial decision?

Parts of the answer may be found in (1) the composition of the appeal court (including the use of expert members), (2) the procedure followed (for instance in terms of explanations given to it of the policies and decisions below), and (3) especially the issues that can be taken up and the way they are in fact taken up.

What percentage of orders of the Tribunal get modified by Higher Courts ?

How to file an appeal, petition etc

Can a citizen argue his case without engaging a legal counsel

What fees have to be paid

How many sets have to be given

What acknowledgments are given

Whether corrections can be made immediately after the submission of filing a case

Who are the staff who are expected to give assistance, information etc

What is the procedure for getting impleaded as a third party

How to serve notices

What help the Tribunal gives in case a party refuses to accept notice

How to get a case advanced because of emergencies

Are the hearings of the Tribunal open to any citizen

How to access records of the Tribunal

What happens if a litigant or his Counsel fails to appear





Which are the ACTS under which one can approach the KAT ?

Can I conduct my own case?

Which Bench of the Tribunal takes up my cae?

What happens next?

How much does it cost?

What does the prescribed form if any form look like?

How long will it take me?

Can I simultaneously approach the High Court and the Tribunal ?

What are the time limitations??

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