Employment judges can give their views, through judicial assessment, on cases before they proceed all the way to a final hearing. This will allow the parties to have their arguments heard at an early stage to see what a judge thinks and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case. However, the judge will not go through the evidence at that stage. The judicial assessment will take place ay the end of the private case management hearing.
If the case proceeds to a final hearing, a new judge will hear the case and form an entirely independent and possibly different view to one reached at the assessment stage. However, the new judge will have heard the evidence.
Not all cases will be suitable for judicial assessment, including where a party is insolvent, other proceedings exist or if there are multiple claimants.
A copy of the Presidential Guidance on Judicial Assessment can be found here.