The hearing is an opportunity for you to give evidence and present arguments to the Tribunal relating to the issues arising in your case. The Tribunal may also take evidence from other persons.
Hearings are conducted by the Tribunal member allocated to your case. The Tribunal’s procedures are relatively informal, and the department is not represented. The member will guide the proceedings to suit the circumstances of the case, will ask questions and will give you an opportunity to make a statement or present arguments. The hearing may be conducted in person, by video conference or by telephone. Hearings in person may be conducted at a Tribunal office or in another suitable location.
Can I have someone assist me at the hearing? You may have another person present at the hearing to assist you. This may be your representative, if you have appointed a representative, or your sponsor or a family member.
Do you know how to write a submission? These are so important to your case. We do and have extensive experience.
Can I ask the Tribunal to obtain evidence?
You can ask the member to take oral or written evidence from other persons. You may also ask the member to obtain other written material. You may use the ‘Response to hearing invitation’ form (M19) to nominate persons you want the Tribunal to take oral evidence from. If any person is in immigration or criminal detention, you should advise the Tribunal immediately. You will need to arrange for any persons you nominate, who are not in immigration or criminal detention, to be available to give evidence.
Am I required to take an oath or make an affirmation?
The Tribunal generally requires that all persons giving oral evidence will take an oath or make an affirmation to tell the truth. If an interpreter is assisting at the hearing, the interpreter is required to take an oath or make an affirmation that he or she will interpret to the best of his or her skills and abilities.
How long does a hearing take?
The duration of a hearing can vary greatly from some minutes to some hours, depending on the issues in the case. The Tribunal also conducts hearing lists in which several cases may be heard.
Is the hearing open to the public?
Hearings are generally open to the public. This means that family members or friends may observe the hearing, and there may be other persons present. You may ask the member to consider holding the hearing in private either before or during the hearing.
Is the hearing recorded?
All hearings are audio recorded. You may ask the Tribunal for a copy of the recording at the end of the hearing.
Will an interpreter be provided at the hearing?
If requested, the Tribunal will arrange for an interpreter to be at the hearing. The interpreter will be a qualified interpreter from an interpreter service – it is Tribunal policy not to use family members, friends or representatives as an interpreter. If you are not satisfied with the interpreting before or during the hearing, it is important that you tell the member or the hearing attendant as soon as possible.
What do I call the member?
The member may be addressed by name (e.g.: ‘Ms Smith’) or referred to as ‘Principal Member’, ‘Deputy Principal Member’, ‘Senior Member’, ‘Member’ (as appropriate) or as ‘the Tribunal’.
When will I get a decision?
As each case is different, it is difficult to say how long it will take for the Tribunal to make a decision in your case. In some cases, the member may announce the decision at the end of the hearing. However, in most cases a decision will not be made at the end of the hearing but will be given to you at a later date.
What if I cannot attend the scheduled hearing?
If you are not able to attend the scheduled hearing, you need to advise us as soon as possible. Please note that the Tribunal will only change this date if satisfied that you have a very good reason for being granted an adjournment. If you do not attend the scheduled hearing, the Tribunal may make a decision without taking any further action to allow or enable you to appear before it.