A Hearing is generally an exceptional event as opposed to a normal part of the Appeal procedures and a hearing date is only arranged if, following all submissions, the Commission determines that it requires further information which can only be gleaned from a Hearing. In such an event both parties will be contacted, provided with a copy of the final bundle of submissions, and a hearing date arranged at a mutually convenient time generally within 15 calendar days.
In the interest of natural justice, at any time prior to the Hearing both the respondent and the Appellant are allowed to acquire representation (including legal representation) if they have not already done so. The parties to an appeal may, at their own discretion, choose to be represented at a hearing of the Commission by -
The Secretariat must be notified at least forty eight (48) hours prior to a scheduled Hearing of the names of any representative(s) appearing for either the Appellant or the respondent.
Hearings are conducted in the same manner as formal Court proceedings. Each of the parties will be sworn in and invited to make verbal representations on the final bundle of submissions. Parties will be expected to provide answers to any questions posed by the Commission which it considers that either the Appellant or respondent should be able to answer.
It should be noted that responses by either party seeking to claim lack of instruction will be treated by the Commission as failure to answer. Likewise, failure of either party to attend the Hearing, or provide their legal representative with the necessary information/instructions to answer the Commission’s questions, will be treated as a failure to provide the Commission with the information necessary to determine the appeal.