What will happen at your Tribunal hearing?
When you arrive at the tribunal you should report to reception
together with any witnesses that are attending to give evidence. If
you have people attending with you that wish just to watch, they
will not need to check in with reception other than advising they
are members of the public and there to watch the hearing. They
should sit at the back of the room and will not be allowed to
contribute anything during the hearing.
Before the hearing a tribunal clerk will discuss with you the
number of witnesses you have and collect any documents you may have
brought for the tribunal. You should tell the clerk if you or any
of your witnesses have any special needs or concerns.
Who speaks first?
The Employment Judge will normally guide you through the
proceedings and advise you where to sit and when to come and give
Generally in an unfair dismissal case the respondent will give
evidence and call any witnesses first, while in a discrimination
case the claimant will normally be first to give evidence followed
by any witnesses. However, there is no absolute rule as to which
side starts and this will be discussed with you before the hearing
begins or the Judge will decide during proceedings.
You and your witnesses will have to give evidence on oath or
affirmation. This means that if you lie after swearing an oath or
affirmation you could be convicted of perjury.
You will normally start by giving evidence by reading out your
witness statement. You or your witnesses can then be asked
questions by the other side called 'cross-examination. You or your
witnesses can then give further evidence to clarify matters as a
result of the questions asked called 're-examination'). Finally,
the Employment Judge and members may ask some questions.
The same procedure is then usually followed for the other
witnesses and then with the claimant. Once all the evidence has
been heard, both sides can sum up before the tribunal normally
leave the room to consider their judgment. Unless the tribunal
'reserves' its judgment, the Employment Judge will announce the
judgment at the end of the hearing. If the judgment is reserved you
will receive it in writing at a later date and will not know the
result on the day.