Tribunals, Inquiries, and Ombudsman: An In-Depth Exploration


In the realm of administrative justice, the mechanisms designed to ensure accountability, transparency, and fairness play a pivotal role. Tribunals, inquiries, and ombudsman offices are indispensable components of this system. In this lecture, we will delve into the functions, significance, and interplay of these entities, shedding light on their distinctive features and contributions to upholding the principles of justice.

I. Tribunals: Pillars of Administrative Justice

A. Definition and Purpose

Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies designed to resolve disputes between individuals and the state or other entities. These entities are established to handle specific types of cases, offering an alternative to traditional court proceedings. The primary purpose of tribunals is to provide accessible and specialized justice, ensuring that individuals have a fair and impartial forum to address grievances related to administrative decisions.

B. Specialization and Expertise

One of the key advantages of tribunals is their specialization in particular areas of law or industries. Whether dealing with employment disputes, immigration matters, or environmental issues, tribunals boast a depth of expertise that may be lacking in general courts. This specialization enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making process, contributing to a more nuanced and informed resolution of disputes.

C. Adversarial vs. Inquisitorial Nature

Tribunals can operate in either an adversarial or inquisitorial manner. In an adversarial setting, the parties involved present their cases, and the tribunal acts as an impartial adjudicator. In contrast, an inquisitorial approach empowers the tribunal to actively investigate and gather information, taking a more proactive role in the proceedings. The choice between these models often depends on the nature of the dispute and the legal framework governing the tribunal.

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