Protocols for hearings
What happens at the hearing?
Before the hearing begins the Associate will ask who is appearing at the hearing so that the Commissioner can be given a list of the names and where they are sitting at the bar table.
At the start of the hearing the Associate will knock on the door, enter the room and say - "Silence all stand for the Commission".
The Commissioner will then enter and bow to everyone in the hearing room.
It is customary for everyone to bow in return.
The Commissioner will sit down and then everyone else in the hearing room can be seated.
The Associate will announce details of the matter.
It is customary to stand when addressing the Commissioner. The correct form of address is 'Commissioner'.
The Commissioner will ask for 'appearances'.
In response, simply state your name and say that you are appearing for yourself. In the case of an employer, state the name of your business. If you have brought a support person along you should also state who is appearing with you.
The proceedings will be relatively formal (but not legalistic) and will be recorded. If the Commissioner decides that a verbatim transcript should be prepared, you will be provided with a copy free of charge.
The Commissioner will hear submissions from the parties in support of their position. This is where parties argue their case. Evidence may be presented, which can be in the form of witnesses and/or documents. The Commissioner will usually ask questions of both parties in order to clarify matters or to find out further information.
The Commissioner will issue a decision, based upon the merits of the case, after considering all of the evidence and submissions from the parties. The decision will be issued in writing, and will be provided to both parties. Usually, the decision contains an Order in settlement of the dispute, for example, the Commissioner may order that compensation be paid, or that an employee be reinstated.
If you decide to lodge an appeal against the Commissioner's decision, you have 21 days in which to do so.