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What Is a Tribunal?

Various types of courts exist to serve numerous purposes. Courts can be referred to in numerous terms as well, one of which is a tribunal. A tribunal is an entity that is given the authority to pass judgment on an issue that has been brought to its attention. A court may be a tribunal in the sense that litigants bring forward their dispute for a judge or jury to resolve.

Committees or courts are usually formed as a tribunal to address issues that come under its jurisdiction or a special kind of jurisdiction. Just as any court within a legal system, the decision of a tribunal is final and binding among all the involved parties. Depending on the issue to be resolved, a tribunal may be open or closed to the public. It is also for a tribunal’s location, time, and other recorded information to remain undisclosed.

It is most common for a tribunal to be convened in matters relating to international issues such as war crimes or genocide. In this manner, the tribunal is tasked to address a specific issue that supersedes any other jurisdiction or is of a special matter. For example, the Nuremberg Trials were a series of tribunals conducted by the Allied Forces to prosecute World War II criminals. These tribunals were created specifically to address wartime atrocities committed by key members of the Nazi party.

A tribunal does not necessarily work outside of the legal system, but it works according to its own set of procedures and guidelines.

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