Presidential Guidance on Judicial Assessments

The President of the Employment Tribunals (England & Wales) has released new Guidance, published on 3 October 2016, adopting a Protocol for an Employment Judge to conduct a Judicial Assessment of a claim and a response as part of a preliminary hearing. The purpose of a Judicial Assessment is to try to resolve the case by agreement between the parties before positions become entrenched and costs excessive, and it may shorten and simplify the scope of hearings.

Judicial Assessment is an optional, free, confidential and impartial service offered by the Employment Tribunals to assess the strengths, weaknesses and risks of the parties' respective claims, allegations and contentions on liability and remedy and will involve the Judge giving a provisional assessment of the case. If all parties and the Employment Judge agree, the Judicial Assessment will take place at the end of the private case management hearing.

Judicial Assessment is not the same as Judicial Mediation. An outcome of Judicial Assessment may be that a case is listed for Judicial Mediation. Judicial Assessment is indicative in nature and will involve a practical assessment of the case by the Employment Judge. Judicial Mediation is facilitative; has the aim of assisting the parties to achieve a resolution of the issues between them without giving any indication of prospects of success; and is usually allocated a full day of the Employment Tribunal's time.

Not all cases will be suitable for Judicial Assessment including if there are multiple claimants not all of whom request Judicial Assessment, a party is insolvent or High Court or other proceedings exist or are intimated.

If the case does not settle at a Judicial Assessment, the case will proceed as ordered at the case management hearing. The Employment Judge will not normally be involved in any part of the proceedings which may entail a final determination of the parties' rights, but the Employment Judge may conduct any subsequent judicial mediation.

Read more about the Guidance and the Protocol here.

Published: 06/10/2016 10:12

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