Parties should arrive at the hearing venue at least 15 minutes before the hearing commences. The Court Secretary will be available on arrival to explain the formalities and protocol and for the parties to sign in before the hearing begins.
The Court Secretary will supply the names of the Court members prior to the start of the hearing. During the hearing the Chair of the Court may be addressed as “Chairman” or “Madam Chairman” and the members of the Court as Mr X or Ms X.
Once the division is ready to proceed:
- The Court Secretary shall announce the case and the parties will stand when the Court enters and leaves the Court.
- Except in such cases as the Court considers it convenient to take the written submissions as read, each party will read their submission in turn and will then be invited to comment on the other party’s submission. This should not be taken as a further opportunity to re-state their case; rather it is simply an opportunity to comment on the opposing submission.
- To fully understand the case being presented, the Court will then proceed to ask questions of both parties.*
*The Court members are not advocates for either side. However, in an appeal made under an employment rights enactment, where one party is not represented by legal counsel or otherwise, the Court may provide some assistance during the course of the hearing. Any such assistance will be provided within the limits of the Court’s obligations to conduct a fair hearing.
NOTE: the Court does not make a record of the hearing available to the parties. With the permission of the Court, in employment rights cases only, parties may arrange to have a stenographer present at a hearing, at their own expense. The Court and the opposing party should be advised in advance of such arrangements. The Court will not require a copy of the Stenographer’s report.