Consumer & Commercial

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Evidence and witnesses 

Consumer and Commercial Division 

Matters before NCAT are decided on the evidence given at the hearing. 

You need to bring evidence to prove your case and respond to any issues raised by the other party.

  • Applicants generally carry the burden of proving they are entitled to the orders they are seeking.
  • Respondents must bring evidence to defend themselves against the applicant's claim.

The Tribunal Member will make a decision on the ‘balance of probabilities’ based on the evidence presented by the parties.

 

Verbal evidence 

At the hearing you will be given the opportunity to give verbal evidence.

The applicant will usually be asked to speak first, followed by the respondent. Be truthful and accurate as you will be asked questions about your evidence. You may be asked to take an oath or affirmation.

Note:  Make sure your statements are concise and relevant!  The Tribunal Member may ask you to move on to your next point if you are repeating yourself or providing evidence that is not helpful or relevant.

 

Documentary evidence 

Your documentary evidence should be relevant to your dispute. Bring documents and items such as:

  • Residential tenancy agreement and condition reports (for tenancy disputes).
  • Written proof of sale or service invoice, original purchase agreement or sales advice.
  • Invoices or demands for payment, receipts, quotes, reports and payment records.
  • Warranties in relation to the goods or service.
  • Correspondence between you and the other party.
  • Photographs showing the condition and state of repair of the goods or the rented premises.
  • Witness statements, statutory declarations or affidavits.
  • Any enforcement action undertaken.
  • Copy of the contract, expert reports and certificates of insurance.

Place your evidence in a folder and label them for easy access during the hearing.  Bring copies of your evidence to give to the other party and to the Tribunal Member.

Make sure all your evidence is ready for the hearing day.  You cannot tell the Tribunal Member "I can get the evidence later".  Once the hearing is over, you will not be able to provide further evidence you had forgotten to bring with you.

Electronic evidence 

Parties can present their evidence at the hearing using their own laptop, tablet or smartphone.  This may be particularly useful for showing videos or photographic evidence.

If you are going to use your laptop, tablet or smartphone to present your evidence, please contact NCAT to confirm the suitability of the hearing venue.  Please also ensure your equipment is in good working order before attending the hearing.

If you are bringing along a DVD, CD or video cassette to use as evidence, the disc or cassette must be clearly labelled with the Tribunal file number, your name and contact details, a list of the file names, and the duration of each audio/video recording.  Please contact NCAT ahead of your hearing date to confirm the necessary equipment is available.

Note:  USB flash sticks and CDs with documents or image files are not accepted as evidence.

Witnesses 

If somebody else was very involved in the events of your dispute, you may consider bringing them as a witness to give evidence at your hearing.

If your witness appears in person at the hearing they will need to give their evidence under oath or affirmation.  Please do not bring witnesses to the first hearing.

Alternatively, you can ask your witness to give you an affidavit or written statement.  Learn more about Evidence and witnesses.

Expert witnesses

If you need evidence of a technical nature you may want to engage an expert to provide you with a report and give evidence at your hearing.  Learn more about Engaging an expert.

Summons

If you need evidence for your hearing and the person or organisation is not willing to give evidence or provide documents voluntarily, you can request NCAT to issue a summons. Learn more about requesting a summons.​

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