A tribunal is like a court. If you've done something wrong and you get caught it's likely you'll be brought before a tribunal, although not all tribunals are there to determine guilt.

Say, for example, you'd like to join a secret society. That society might convene a tribunal to determine whether you're worthy of joining. One way to remember tribunal is to focus on the tri at the beginning of the word. A tribunal is there to "try" a case. A tribunal is a group of people who oversee a trial. Your mom and dad could be a tribunal. You could also think of it as the group who oversees their tribe, which is, in fact, where the word comes from.

Definitions of tribunal
  1. noun
    an assembly (including one or more judges) to conduct judicial business
    synonyms: court, judicature
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    court, court of justice, court of law, lawcourt
    a tribunal that is presided over by a magistrate or by one or more judges who administer justice according to the laws
    International Court of Justice, World Court
    a court established to settle disputes between members of the United Nations
    appeals court, appellate court, court of appeals
    a court whose jurisdiction is to review decisions of lower courts or agencies
    assizes, court of assize, court of assize and nisi prius
    the county courts of England (replaced in 1971 by Crown courts)
    chancery, court of chancery
    a court with jurisdiction in equity
    a church tribunal or governing body
    criminal court
    a court having jurisdiction over criminal cases
    divorce court
    a court having jurisdiction over the termination of marriage contracts
    court of domestic relations, domestic relations court, family court
    a court in some states in the United States that has jurisdiction over family disputes (especially those involving children)
    federal court
    a court establish by the authority of a federal government
    F.I.S.C., Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
    a secret federal court created in 1978 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; responsible for authorizing wiretaps and other forms of electronic surveillance and for authorizing searches of suspected spies and terrorists by the Department of Justice or United States intelligence agencies
    inferior court, lower court
    any court whose decisions can be appealed to a higher court
    a former tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church (1232-1820) created to discover and suppress heresy
    juvenile court
    a court having jurisdiction over dependent and delinquent children
    kangaroo court
    an irregular unauthorized court
    military court
    a judicial court of commissioned officers for the discipline and punishment of military personnel
    moot court
    a mock court where law students argue hypothetical cases
    police court
    a court that has power to prosecute for minor offenses and to bind over for trial in a superior court anyone accused of serious offenses
    probate court
    a court having jurisdiction over the probate of wills and the administration of estates
    quarter sessions
    a local court with criminal jurisdiction and sometimes administrative functions
    (Roman Catholic Church) the supreme ecclesiastical tribunal for cases appealed to the Holy See from diocesan courts
    Star Chamber
    a former English court that became notorious for its arbitrary methods and severe punishments
    superior court
    any court that has jurisdiction above an inferior court
    high court, state supreme court, supreme court
    the highest court in most states of the United States
    traffic court
    a court that has power to prosecute for traffic offenses
    trial court
    the first court before which the facts of a case are decided
    circuit court of appeals
    one of the twelve federal United States courts of appeals that cover a group of states known as a `circuit'
    a military court to try members of the armed services who are accused of serious breaches of martial law
    night court
    a criminal court (in large cities) that sits at night
    Old Bailey
    the central criminal court in London
    provost court
    a military court for trying people charged with minor offenses in an occupied area
    Supreme Court, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Supreme Court
    the highest federal court in the United States; has final appellate jurisdiction and has jurisdiction over all other courts in the nation
    type of:
    a group of persons who are gathered together for a common purpose
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