Many of the roles we advertise are open to candidates with no legal experience. We call these non-legal tribunal member roles.
What non legal Members do
A Fee Paid non legal Member sits on a panel alongside a judge and in some cases, another non legal Member. Non legal members advise on their area of specialist knowledge and participate fully in the decision making after the hearing has concluded, including contributing to the drafting of the decision.
With non-legal roles, you use your personal or professional experience in a certain area to help other Tribunal members understand more about the issues they are being presented with – be those, for example, medical, disability, drainage or surveying cases. This is to make sure that there is a full understanding of the facts of a case and that the parties involved get a fair hearing. Our short features on non-legal tribunal members provide an insight into their roles and advice about the selection process.
Applicants for a non-legal tribunal member roles are often asked to provide an eligibility statement to demonstrate how they satisfy the eligibility requirements for this post instead of completing a self-assessment. You will need to supply Independent assessments
You can find out more here Eligibility non-legal roles
Structure of the Tribunals
The UK has a two-tier tribunal system: a First-tier Tribunal and an Upper Tribunal. Both of these are split into chambers, with 7 chambers at the First-tier level and 4 at the Upper Tribunal level. Tribunals generally cover England and Wales, but some also have jurisdiction in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some other tribunals sit outside this system, such as the Employment Tribunals for England and Wales.
How Tribunals work
Tribunals hear evidence from witnesses, decide cases and have limited powers to impose fines and other penalties, depending on the jurisdiction of the case. Tribunal judges can sit alone or with other, non-legal tribunal members.
Tribunals often involve individuals putting their case without legal representation or assistance, so the system needs to be accessible. Tribunal judges often help to guide non-legally qualified parties through the procedures.
Tribunal panels may include non-legal members who have expertise in different areas. For example, on a case involving Disability Living Allowance, judges may sit with a medically-qualified member (generally a GP or consultant) and a member who has specialist knowledge of disabilities, such as a social worker, occupational therapist or physiotherapist
- There are several different roles in the tribunals
- The Tribunal court structure can be seen in this Tribunals Chart
- You can find out more about these roles here: Tribunal members
- Here you can find advice on meeting the Eligibility non-legal roles
- You can find out more about this here: tribunal-jurisdiction