Hearings and direction hearings
The aim of the hearing is to make a final decision about your case. It is generally in your best interest to come to the hearing if the application has been made against you.
The aim of the directions hearing is to work out how the case will proceed.
You need to bring every document, invoice, receipt, quotation and or other piece of evidence that you are relying on and give them to the members or adjudicators at the hearing. Make sure that you are organised and have evidence to support the main points of your argument.
Make sure that you are organised and have any information ready to assist in working out how the case should proceed.
Attending in person
Ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time outlined in the Notice of hearing or Notice of directions hearing. You may choose to use any waiting time to talk to the other party to try and reach an agreement.
Find your name or case number on the electronic listing board or list displayed in the registry. Go to the room which has been set aside for your case.
At the hearing, QCAT members or adjudicators who are responsible for deciding your case, will introduce themself and ask all parties to introduce themselves.
Up to three members or adjudicators may hear your case. The length of the hearing depends on the complexity of the matter.
During the hearing
Evidence may be presented and submissions may be made. You and your witnesses may be required to swear an oath on a bible or make an affirmation that you promise to tell the truth when you give evidence.
You and your witnesses may also be asked questions, called cross-examination, by the other party. Members or adjudicators who decide the matter may also ask you questions.
The person who made the original application to QCAT (the applicant) and their witnesses will be heard first. The other party (the respondent) will have the opportunity to cross-examine the applicant and the applicant’s witnesses. The respondent may then present its own witnesses, who may then be cross-examined by the applicant.
If there is a good reason why a witness cannot come to the hearing, you should bring an affidavit sworn by the witness setting out the evidence you want the tribunal to take into account. Please note that the member or adjudicator may place a lower value on this evidence because the witness cannot be cross-examined.
How to behave during hearings
- Be clear and to the point.
- Be prepared with any relevant information you may wish to refer to.
- Do not interrupt the other party or the QCAT representative - you will have the opportunity to have your say.
- Listen carefully and answer the questions asked by the member or adjudicator.
What happens next?
After a hearing
A decision may be provided at the end of the hearing however if the tribunal needs more time to consider the matter or to gather more information, it may reserve its decision and all parties will receive QCAT’s decision at a later date.
For some matter types, such as guardianship matters, a written copy of the order will be sent to everyone who received the Notice of the hearing.
After a directions hearing
All parties will receive an order or letter confirming the directions, or actions they need to do, as set down by the tribunal.