Tribunal is referred to any entity which is given to authority or power to make decisions and resolve conflicts. It is a lot similar to any legal court and decisions made by tribunal are final and cannot be changed. The only effective international tribunals are “dependent” tribunals, by which they mean ad hoc tribunals staffed by judges closely controlled by governments through the power of reappointment or threats of retaliation(Eric A. Posner).
When it comes to dealing on international level with other countries, domestic courts are bias and more inclined towards thinking solely for the interest of the state. Whereas tribunals are independent and more inclined towards saving relationships with other countries and allow the decisions to be affected by other countries.
Tribunals keep the information of the fighting parties and take steps as trustees of those parties, in order to resolve the issue. They give boost to the commitments made on international level by making rules in which if any commitment is violated, then it would be stated as not fulfilled.
Such violations to commitment discourage future agreements and are costly to the state in terms of repute and finances.
Tribunals are very important for two or more countries for several reasons. To begin with, while solving treaties tribunal helps a lot. Now treaties are not written keeping the changing conditions in consideration, so when circumstances actually change, each and every country involved in the treaty wants the terms to change which will benefit them the most. In this situation, an international tribunal comes to help and resolve this issue. Moreover, a tribunal can help in making a decision when too many facts and information is involved in a case.
In cases, where no formal treaty is signed, tribunal is the best option. The reason is that international laws of every country vary for a situation like this one, and most countries define it as a ‘customary’. Now customary laws are vague and do not answer each and every query properly, so tribunal is useful.
Tribunal helps in making the information and terms of treaties clear to all the countries involved. They highlight all the accurate and important facts involved. And the use of tribunal is cost effective. The local knowledge of tribunals is always an asset while making decisions.
Existence of culture and political differences impacts the tribunal in various ways. Culture is formed when individuals bring together their habits and rituals in a society and become part of one entity. “Culture is acquired through the acculturation or socialization by individuals from their respective societies”(Cohen, 1993). Therefore, every culture is different from others and has different ways of dealing with each other in a society. Tribunals are affected by cultural differences but the act of negotiation becomes helpful here. This involved dealing with people of different cultures in a manner that everyone’s interest in kept in consideration and just decision is made.
In a world like the one we currently live in, it is very difficult to have life without tribunals. Without tribunals each country would think of only its own interest and not care about others, living in no compliance with other countries.
Apart from this, a third, non bias party, is important to let the flow of interaction active between countries. A tribunal is not dependant on a country’s home ground rules, it is independent. Hence no biases exist. With the help of tribunal, conflicts can be solved far more easily than in legal courts.
Without existence of tribunals, each and every conflict will have to go to the government departments, increasing their workload. As no precedent is used, so the decisions made are flexible.
In addition to this, tribunals help in reducing the workload of the judiciary as well. If there were no tribunals, then the judiciary would be overworked as well. It also allows both sides to make reasonable amendments, in order to proceed with appeals and justice.
Tribunals eliminate the existence of political parties when sensitive decisions are to be made. This helps in limiting the knowledge and issue to a certain number of individuals and does not let it become a public affair. And in order to make sure that justice prevails in all decisions, legally qualified chairmen is hired to administer and monitor all the trial decisions.
While all these advantages are at one side, there is still a bunch of disadvantages of tribunals, too. To begin with, the use of tribunals is unfair to those individuals who are not rich and cannot represent their side of case to tribunals. Only the rich can benefit from its facilities as they can afford to hire qualified individuals to represent their side of the case. The rich can hire effective and superior lawyers to fight for their case, whereas the poor are helpless.
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Secondly, the lack of fees is a great incentive for the poor individuals to fight for their right in the tribunal court but it can be a demerit as well. Because of absence of any fees, individuals might file their cases, even for tiny issues, taking a lot of valuable time of the tribunal.
At times, tribunals become difficult just like legal courts. This difficulty usually implies the trial becoming complex for the parties. The individuals might find it difficult to go for help to tribunals because not every environment and case can be presented in a proper manner if not all resources are available or hired.