A statement is a written outline of the facts of your case. Statements from you, as an applicant or respondent, and any other witnesses will form the evidence on which you intend to rely to support your case at the tribunal.
You can use the statement example template as a guide to preparing your statement.
Content of statements
A statement is your opportunity to provide the facts to the tribunal making a decision about your application. You must give careful thought to the evidence you present in your statements. You have to prove the facts you claim. It can be helpful if you prepare your statement while the facts about the dispute or the application are fresh in your mind.
The applicant's statement should explain what is being sought and be as specific as possible eg, payment of money owing and why you say you are entitled to that money.
The respondent should identify clearly which items in the applicant's statements they agree with and which items they disagree with and why.
If the respondent has a counter-application (an application lodged by a respondent against an applicant) the statement should clearly explain any amount sought and the basis of the counter-application.
The preparation of statements is the main part of your case. Your case needs to be set out in detail in your statements, at a hearing there may be limited time to give oral evidence (speak to) to the tribunal.
- Statements should preferably be typed and each page numbered. It should be headed with the application number, parties' names and names of witnesses. Each separate event or fact should have its own numbered paragraph. This will help the parties and the tribunal refer to your material.
- Your statement should relate closely to the issues set out in the application, response and counter-application, and be in chronological order.
- Only provide information about which you have personal knowledge. If you want to provide information someone else has given or knows, they should write a separate statement.
- Some information can only be accepted if provided by experts eg, the cost of performing or rectifying building works. If cost is an issue, then you must have a person in the particular trade provide a statement outlining cost estimates and reasons for reaching such an estimate.
- You may need to go into detail for complex matters. For example, if you claim there are defects in building work done, each defect must be described in detail, together with an estimated cost of rectifying the defect provided by a suitable expert.
- If your statement refers to attached documents each attachment should be numbered. You must refer to each attachment in your statement and explain why each attachment is relevant to the case.
Statements of other witnesses
- You may be asked to provide signed statements from each of your witnesses as evidence to prove your case.
- Witnesses should have personal knowledge of the issues in dispute or may have particular expertise in those issues in dispute.
- Witnesses who provide statements are required to be available to attend the hearing, but may not actually be required to participate in the hearing. If required, they may be cross-examined under oath, unless the other party accepts the contents of their statement. Cross-examination involves the other party or the QCAT decision-maker asking the witness questions about the contents of their statement and any other relevant issues.
- If you are unable to get a witness to sign a statement, you may have to contact QCAT to arrange for a notice to attend to be issued to that person so they will be compelled to attend the hearing and give evidence.