Judgment delivery expectations

All judges aim to deliver their judgments as quickly as possible.  The judges of the Employment Court expect that 90% of judgments will be delivered within three months of the last day of the hearing or receipt of the last submissions, whichever is later. The three month period does not include court vacations or other periods of judges’ leave.  A judge may sometimes tell the parties at the hearing that the judgment will take longer than three months to deliver because the case is complex or for other appropriate reasons.

Ask about delayed judgments

If you are concerned about a delay in the delivery of a reserved judgment, you can ask the registrar by a letter or email.

Please include the following details: 

  • the name of the proceedings and the file number
  • your role in the proceedings (such as plaintiff/defendant or legal representative for the first plaintiff/second defendant)
  • the date on which the judge reserved the judgment or the last submissions were filed, whichever is the later date. 

The registrar will give you an indication in writing as to when the judgment is likely to be released. The judge won’t be told who has asked.

Recent statistics 

The table below shows the time to judgment in the Employment Court for judgments delivered in the years since 2012.  

YearDelivered within 1 month of conclusion of hearingDelivered within 3 months of conclusion of hearingDelivered more than 3 months after conclusion of hearingTotal judgments delivered
2012 74% 84% 16% 220
2013 75% 90% 10% 247
2014 75% 92% 8% 236
2015 74% 92% 8% 234
2016 77% 92% 8% 179

Notes and definitions

    • The source of the data is the citation database.
    • A judgment is classified as a decision that receives a citation from the citation database. It excludes minutes.
    • Judgments include those made on the papers.

Information regarding reserved judgments

Other than in very urgent cases of interlocutory injunctive or similar relief, or in undefended or uncontroversial cases, the Court will usually reserve its judgment.  That means, for the purpose of considering the evidence given, researching and analysing the applicable law, and writing a reasoned decision, the Court’s written judgment will be sent to the parties subsequently by email and/or post.  In most cases of reserved judgment, there will be no publication of these on the Court’s website for a minimum of three days after the judgment is sent to the parties to enable them to know first of the result and the reasons for it.  In any particular case, however, a Judge may direct immediate publication of a judgment on the Court’s website.  In appropriate cases, also, a Judge may direct that there be no publication on the Court’s website of a judgment for a specified period to allow for the execution of search and freezing orders made without notice, or for similar reasons.

The foregoing protocols may be reviewed periodically and may, after the statutorily-required consultation with the Chief Justice, be amended and re-published by the Chief Judge.

The foregoing protocols are issued by the Chief Judge pursuant to s 222A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 following consultation with the Chief Justice.

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