Skip to main content

Mick Antoniw MS, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

First published:
19 June 2023
Last updated:

Today, I am publishing a White Paper entitled “A New Tribunal System for Wales” to consult on proposals for a modern system for Wales’ devolved tribunals.

The White Paper sets out a suite of proposals to create a unified tribunal structure that is flexible by design and capable of absorbing new jurisdictions with relatively little disruption. The new tribunal system will not only better meet the present needs of tribunal justice but will also be adaptable to meet the future needs of Wales going forward.

The White Paper takes forward and builds on the recommendations of the Commission on Justice in Wales and the Law Commission’s project on the devolved tribunals in Wales, which was published in December 2021.

The main proposals include:

  • the creation of a First-tier Tribunal for Wales with a chamber structure;
  • the creation of an Appeal Tribunal for Wales;
  • simplified and coherent approaches to the appointment of tribunal members and complaints across the new tribunal system;
  • the creation of a new structurally independent arms-length body to administer the First-tier Tribunal for Wales and the Appeal Tribunal for Wales; and
  • the creation of a tribunals’ rules committee for Wales.

Our objective in implementing reform is twofold. First, to create a modern tribunal system for Wales focused on access to justice and the needs of tribunal users who can be confident the system operates with independence and in a way that adjudicates on their disputes justly, efficiently, and expeditiously. Second, to lay the foundation for a future where justice is devolved, and Wales administers its own wider system of courts and tribunals.

A copy of the White Paper along with the Draft Integrated Impact Assessment and Draft Regulatory Impact Assessment, providing an outline of costs and impacts of the legislative proposals, can be accessed from the Welsh Government’s website.

The consultation on the White Paper will close on 2 October 2023. The responses, along with all other relevant matters including ongoing engagement with stakeholders and the continued development of our evidence base, will be used to inform our ongoing approach to the development of policy and legislation.