Dust Diseases Tribunal > Practice and Procedure

Legal Information & Resources

All parties involved in cases at the Dust Diseases Tribunal are usually represented by a solicitor or a barrister. It is not common for plaintiffs or defendants to appear in person before the Tribunal or to represent themselves at Claims Resolution Process mediation, due to the complex nature of dust diseases litigation.

Legal representation can be obtained through the Law Society. Legal Aid is not available for Claims through the Dust Diseases Tribunal. Documents filed with the Tribunal Registry must comply with the relevant Legislation (for further procedural information, go to ‘Forms & Fees’).

A person diagnosed with a dust-related disease should consider seeking legal advice at their earliest convenience and begin proceedings by filing a Statement of Claim form, in order to preserve their rights.

In many dust-diseases cases there is a delay of several years between the time of dust exposure, to appearance of symptoms and then diagnosis of the disease. Often there is a shortened life expectancy.

A representing lawyer is expected to be familiar with the case and be able to inform the Tribunal about:

  • the nature of the disease
  • the condition and prognosis of the plaintiff’s health
  • the current state of the Pleadings
  • the case’s readiness for Hearing and whether
    (a) experts' reports have been obtained and served; 
    (b) further medical examinations are required and, if so, when; (c) technical or financial experts have been, or are to be, qualified to prepare reports
  • whether Admissions have or will be sought and made
  • whether Orders for Discovery and Interrogatories have or will be sought
  • whether Particulars have been filed and served
  • the nature of orders, if any, made earlier, and whether they have been complied with
  • a completion date for the Timetable
  • a proposed date for Hearing.