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The legal sector is urged to feed into the consultation to shape reforms that will unify and modernise devolved tribunals in Wales. The consultation period ends on 2 October 2023.

On announcing the consultation launch in June, Mick Antoniw AS, the Counsel General for Wales and Minister for the Constitution, said the changes will improve access to justice and lay the foundation for a devolved Welsh justice system.

The White Paper proposes a unified system comprising of a single First-tier Tribunal for Wales to absorb the jurisdictions of existing devolved tribunals, and an Appeal Tribunal for Wales. Proposals include coherent approaches to appointments and to setting rules for the new tribunal system, as well as greater independence from government for the way in which the system is administered.

Why the reform?

Chris James (Welsh Government; AJC Council Member) explained that Wales has its own small but significant body of devolved tribunals providing effective and efficient access to justice for tribunal users. Whilst there have been reforms and developments to the system of devolved tribunals over the years, each tribunal remains governed by its own standalone legislative framework. Most recently, the Wales Act 2017 established the office of the President of Welsh Tribunals and grouped several separate devolved tribunals as the Welsh Tribunals. However, that legislation did not create a coherent whole.

Both the Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and the Law Commission recommended reform to the system of devolved tribunals. On 19 June, the Welsh Government published a White Paper to consult on proposals for reform. The White Paper recognises that a clearer, simpler, more effective and coherent way of operating the system of devolved tribunals in Wales is essential to the cause of delivering justice for the people of Wales.

Consultation timeline & contact details

The consultation runs to 2 October 2023. You can access the White Paper and accompanying documents, and respond here: A New Tribunal System for Wales.

The Welsh Government welcomes your views on the proposals and values your opinion. If you have any questions, please email

Emma Waddingham

Emma Waddingham

Editor, Legal News

Emma Waddingham is the Editor & Founder of Legal News. She is a seasoned legal editor and journalist and experienced marketing & events consultant, working almost exclusively with the UK legal sector.