Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal)Back to view all 35 Rules of Procedure
Rule 13 - Holding a written hearing
13.01 The Tribunal may conduct any proceeding or part of a proceeding by means of a written hearing where requested to do so, or where it determines it is appropriate to do so.
Factors to be considered
13.02 In deciding whether to hold a written hearing the Tribunal may consider any relevant factors, including,
- the suitability of the written hearing format to the subject matter of the hearing;
- whether the credibility of any of the parties or witnesses is an issue;
- the extent to which the facts of the matter are in dispute;
- the extent to which the issues in dispute are questions of law;
- the convenience of the parties;
- the cost, efficiency and timeliness of the hearing format;
- avoidance of unnecessary delay or a lengthy oral hearing;
- the need to provide a fair and understandable process;
- the desirability or necessity of public participation in or public access to the Tribunal's process; and
- any other considerations affecting the fulfilment of the Tribunal's statutory mandate.
Change of format
13.03 The Tribunal may continue a written hearing as an oral hearing or an electronic hearing whenever the Tribunal considers it appropriate to do so.
Notification by Tribunal
13.04 If the Tribunal decides to convert a written hearing into an oral hearing or an electronic hearing or to start the proceeding again as an oral hearing or an electronic hearing, it shall notify the parties to the proceeding of its decision and may provide directions as to the holding of that hearing and the procedures set down in these rules for that type of hearing will apply to the converted or restarted hearing.
Notice of a written hearing
13.05 The Tribunal shall provide a notice of a written hearing which shall include,
- a reference to the statutory authority under which the hearing is to be held;
- a statement of the purpose of the hearing;
- a statement that the parties to the proceeding will be required to exchange documents with the other parties, will have an opportunity to ask questions about the documents in writing which the other parties will be obliged to answer, will have an opportunity to make submissions and will be subject to Sub-rules 13.07 to 13.19;
- the text of Sub-rules 13.07 to 13.19 inclusive;
- a statement that a party may object to the hearing being held as a written hearing by filing an objection with the Tribunal within three business days following service of the notice of written hearing, a statement that where an objection is filed the Tribunal will hold an oral hearing or an electronic hearing and may supply directions as to the holding of that hearing;
- a statement that if a party does not participate in accordance with the notice of hearing, nor object to the holding of a written hearing, then the Tribunal may proceed without the party's participation and the party will not be entitled to any further notice of the proceeding; and
- a statement that each party is obliged to provide with its final submissions a list of the documents that it is relying on to support its position.
Other information may be included
13.06 The Tribunal may include any other information which it considers advisable in the notice of written hearing.
13.07 A party to a proceeding who receives a notice of written hearing may file with the Tribunal and serve on each of the other parties to the proceeding an objection to the hearing being held as a written hearing within three business days after being served with the notice of written hearing.
Conversion to oral hearing
13.08 If the Tribunal receives an objection from a party to a proceeding who receives a notice of written hearing the Tribunal shall convert the hearing to an oral or electronic format if the objecting party satisfies the Tribunal that there is good reason for the format change.
13.09 The appellant shall file with the Tribunal and serve on the other parties to the appeal the evidence that supports the remedy or order requested within three business days after receiving confirmation from the Tribunal that no one objected to the holding of the written hearing.
Additional information may be required
13.10 The Tribunal may require the appellant to provide further information regarding its case and this information shall be supplied to the other parties and such other persons as the Tribunal may direct.
13.11 A pre-hearing order by the Tribunal may determine the procedure for filing of evidence, submissions, documents and other material where a request has been made by a party for a written or electronic hearing in lieu of an oral hearing.
13.12 The evidence shall be in writing or, when electronic transmission of evidence is permitted, it shall be in the form directed by the Tribunal.
13.13 The evidence shall identify the person giving the evidence and shall be in certified form or in affidavit form, unless the Tribunal orders otherwise.
13.14 Evidence shall include all documents and things a party is relying on to support the remedy or order requested.
No oral examination without permission
13.15 There shall be no oral examination unless ordered by the Tribunal.
Production of witnesses
13.16 If a party requests, the Tribunal may order that a party present a witness to be examined upon such conditions as the Tribunal directs.
Hearing in the absence of a party
13.17 If a party to a written hearing does not object or participate the Tribunal may proceed without the party's participation and the party will not be entitled to any further notice in the proceeding.
Access to documents by parties
13.18 Subject to the Tribunal Rule #23 (Restricted Access Rule), all parties are entitled to receive every document that the Tribunal receives in a proceeding.
Access to documents by public
13.19 Subject to the Tribunal Rule #23 (Restricted Access Rule), all documents that are filed in respect of a proceeding shall be accessible to the public upon reasonable notice to the Tribunal.
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