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Adjournments - Tribunal and Criminal Proceedings

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[Thanks to Sarah Russell, solicitor at Russell, Jones and Walker, part of Slater & Gordon Lawyers, for preparing this case summary.]

Will a pre-hearing review be postponed where the Claimant suffers from depression, and a criminal trial is pending? 

Not where there is no overlap of issues with the criminal trial, and the PHR can proceed with just his representative present, held the EAT in Firouzian v Metroline Travel Limited

Mr Firouzian was accused of causing death by dangerous driving whilst working as a bus driver. A PHR on the question of disability was listed for a fortnight before the trial. 

If there had been a risk to the Claimant's right to silence or of self-incrimination, it would have been appropriate to postpone the PHR. Further, if he had been expected to give extensive evidence at the PHR, his mental illness might have been grounds to grant the postponement. 

Whether to postpone a PHR is at the discretion of the Judge. Where new medical evidence has been produced about the Claimant's fitness to attend the PHR after the Judge's first refusal, the correct procedure is for an application for review of the decision, and only then an appeal of the outcome.