SACAT may make 'directions' in relation to your application at any time.
Directions are made after Tribunal proceedings have commenced and relate to preparing for and conducting proceedings.
Normally, directions will require a party to do something - like disclosing documents to other parties and SACAT by a certain date.
Where appropriate, a case may be listed for a ‘directions hearing’ for this purpose.
A Directions hearing takes place before the full hearing of an application.
This hearing will identify the issues and make sure all relevant information, documentation and evidence is presented to everyone.
Usually only complex matters are listed for directions hearings.
What happens at a Directions hearing?
A Directions hearing is usually listed before a legal member of the Tribunal. They usually take between 30-60 minutes depending on the complexity of the matter.
The person who is the subject of an application is often not required to attend (but may be required in some instances).
The Applicant, any party and any other person required to attend a Directions hearing will be notified of the hearing.
Not all interested persons will be notified of a Directions hearing depending on the complexity of the matter and the directions likely to be made.
Directions hearings are often conducted over the telephone (via a conference call) but in complex matters they will be conducted in person.They may also be conducted via an audio visual link in some instances.
The Tribunal Member will make enquiries of the parties (and any other person present) to:
- identify the issues
- any person with a proper interest in the matter
- any information and/or documentation and evidence of relevance.
They will then issue directions requiring the parties to do certain things (such as produce documents or written submissions setting out the reason for the application) within a specified timeframe.
SACAT may also request the parties to provide copies of documents and submissions to each other before the full hearing.