What do Tribunal Documents look like?

What are Litigation Documents?

After tribunal proceedings are commenced, certain documents are produced as part of the process. Some of these documents are produced by a party in the case, and some are produced by the tribunal itself. Here are some examples:


An Order document (see example below) is normally one or two pages and sets out the order or orders made by the tribunal on a particular date. It is normally either signed by the judge (or by a tribunal official if it is a routine order such as standard directions) or else has the tribunal stamp containing the Royal Coat of Arms (sometimes called a "seal"), or it may be both signed and have a stamp. 

Sometimes, before a tribunal makes an order, it invites the parties to submit draft orders containing the wording of an order they would like the tribunal to make. The tribunal may make the order using the wording proposed or it may decide to use different wording when making the order, or it may decide to make a completely different order. It is important, therefore, to get a copy of the order with the stamp on it (or signed by the judge, or both) so that you are sure that it is the order which the tribunal actually made rather than just a draft of what one party wanted. 


Notice of Hearing

A Notice of Hearing gives advance notice of the date, time and place of a tribunal hearing, how long it is expected to last, and what type of hearing it is (e.g. trial, hearing of an application, case management conference). It is normally either signed or stamped (or both).

Judgment (Decision)

A Judgment (example) is quite a long document which gives the judge’s reasons for coming to a decision.


At the beginning of the litigation process, documents are drafted by each party (usually by their barrister) setting out what their "case" is in concise form. These documents, which are often called "pleadings" (although the word "pleadings" does not normally appear on them) are then signed by the party and sent to the tribunal office and to the other party.

Witness Statements  

The witness statements will just be exchanged between the parties – usually sometime after the Disclosure of Documents stage - and often only the parties (not the tribunal office) will have copies of them until just before the trial (when they will be included in a trial bundle copies of which will be sent to the tribunal office). Witness statements should have words such as Witness Statement of John Smith on them, often within parallel horizontal lines ("tramlines"). 


Each witness statement may be accompanied by one of more "exhibits". In the witness statement it may say, for example "I refer to a photograph marked Exhibit JJS2"  and the photograph referred to will be separate with a front-sheet identifying it as Exhibit JJS2.  

What do Litigation Documents look like?

It is easier to find documents when you know what they might look like. In terms of appearance, most litigation documents are in one of two styles.

Pre-printed Forms 

Some are on pre-printed forms with the details filled in in boxes. You can see an example at http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=4362 Each form is different but they have a similar style which is easy to recognise

Typed Documents with Tramlines

Some are drafted from scratch without using a form. Usually you can recognise these because the top half of the first page will have the name of the tribunal and the names of the parties and, below that, the type of document in tramlines like this:











- and -












This information page is designed to be used only by clients of John Antell who have entered into, or are about to enter into, an agreement for the provision of legal services. The information in it is necessarily of a general nature and is intended to be used only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. This information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else.

This page was lasted updated in May 2020 Disclaimer