Definition of tribunal in English:



  • 1British A body established to settle certain types of dispute.

    ‘an industrial tribunal ruled that he was unfairly dismissed’
    • ‘In the event of a dispute, an employment tribunal will rule on what is reasonable.’
    • ‘It should do so in the terms agreed between the parties, as is commonly the case when courts and tribunals in many jurisdictions give effect to terms agreed for the settlement of litigation.’
    • ‘We see the employment and disputes tribunals, which adopt their own rules of evidence.’
    • ‘Smith lost an industrial tribunal case last November, but he has lodged an appeal.’
    • ‘Instead of only being able to offer advice, staff with legal training will now be able to represent complainants in tribunals and county court cases.’
    • ‘The whole subject presents unique challenges to legislators and to tribunals and courts, as well as to those responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Act in the workplace.’
    • ‘Workers can recover underpayments at an employment tribunal or the county court.’
    • ‘They say workers got pay rises through an industrial tribunal ruling in June.’
    • ‘I am aware of the effects of disputes tribunals - particularly in the agricultural sector - and they are not always as judicially objective as they might be.’
    • ‘The industrial tribunal decided that Lambeth council had breached the Race Relations Act.’
    • ‘The jurisdictional powers of the courts and arbitral tribunals are fundamentally different.’
    arbitration board, arbitration panel, board, panel, committee
    View synonyms
  • 2A court of justice.

    ‘an international war crimes tribunal’
    • ‘Some commentators have also expressed scepticism about the international courts, tribunals and committees which pronounce upon human rights.’
    • ‘This may be a court (other than the superior courts), tribunal or other public authority.’
    • ‘In the judicial branch the Supreme Court of Justice is the highest tribunal.’
    • ‘In practice there seems no good reason why the present approach of handling environment-related cases within the existing system of international courts and tribunals should not continue to work.’
    • ‘Employers' organisations also challenged the power of the Commonwealth tribunal in the High Court.’
    • ‘Everybody will be sending their courts and tribunals into other jurisdictions, and then you have a tremendous mess and it is not the mess that the federal arrangements seem to contemplate.’
    • ‘Everyone has the right to equality before the courts and tribunals of law.’
    • ‘In such cases, trial court judgments may be reviewed by appellate tribunals, with the Supreme Court having final judgment.’
    • ‘Then we each can hold war crimes tribunals and let justice prevail.’
    • ‘These tribunals are essential kangaroo courts.’
    • ‘Amending legislation may also be necessary if the tribunal loses an expected Supreme Court appeal.’
    • ‘It is probably there that the reference to legal services to be provided in proceedings in federal courts and tribunals would need to be inserted.’
    • ‘That freedom necessarily extends to the workings of the courts and tribunals which administer and enforce the laws of this country.’
    • ‘It is encouraging that various instruments, including war crimes tribunals and the International Court of Justice, have been put in place to address and redress past wrongs.’
    • ‘One sees, of course, that there are sometimes decisions of the International Court and of tribunals and they have a greater status.’
    • ‘We should devise a system that draws on both national courts and an international tribunal.’
    • ‘So we're looking at international tribunals such as the International Court of Justice or the UN Standing Committee on Torture.’
    court, court of justice, court of law, law court, bar
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A seat or bench for a judge or judges.


Late Middle English (denoting a seat for judges): from Old French, or from Latin tribunal raised platform provided for magistrate's seats, from tribunus (see tribune). tribunal dates from the early 20th century.