Going to the Tribunal

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Evidence and witnesses

Matters before NCAT are decided on the evidence presented at the hearing.  You will need evidence to prove your case and to respond to any issues raised by the other party.

The following is general advice for use in all Divisions. More detailed information on the type of evidence that may be required at hearing is available on Division pages as it may vary according to the type of matter to be heard.

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.

The evidence that you give in writing before the hearing can be given either in an affidavit or in a statement. Witnesses can be called to give evidence in person at hearing.

Affidavits and statements

Affidavits

An affidavit is a written record of the facts of the case as you see them, and is sworn or affirmed in front of a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a solicitor.  In most cases a party should prepare an affidavit and arrange for any witnesses to prepare an affidavit.

Visit the LawAssist website for information on how to write an affidavit.

Statements

A statement is written evidence which may be used to support a case. It just needs to be signed by the person making the statement. The signature does not have to be witnessed.

While it is best to prepare an affidavit, the Tribunal can, and often does, accept unsworn statements.

Visit the LawAssist website for information on how to prepare a statement.

Attaching documents to an affidavit or statement

If you refer to other documents in a statement or affidavit, attach and number them in the order in which you refer to them in your statement or affidavit, for example, 'Paul Jones Pty Ltd has an equal opportunity policy (see Attachment 1) and a separate harassment policy (see Attachment 2).'

Documents

As well as statements or affidavits, you should provide the Tribunal and the other party with relevant documents in support of your case.

Relevant documents may include character references, medical reports, contracts, letters, emails, invoices, diaries, phone records, minutes of meetings, plans and drawings.  Photographs and film such as CCTV footage may also be relevant.

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

If you have previously summonsed (formally requested) documents and some of those documents are relevant to the case, you need to file those documents with the Tribunal and give them to the other party so that everyone knows that you will be relying on them at the hearing.

Witnesses

Any witness who provides a statement or affidavit in support of your case should be available to give evidence in person at the hearing. This is the rule unless all other parties agree that the witness does not need to attend for cross-examination.

If a witness is not available to give evidence at the hearing, the party who wants to rely on that person’s evidence should obtain the views of the other parties and apply to the Tribunal for the evidence to be given by  telephone or video link .

Generally, if a person has not filed a statement or affidavit they will not be able to give evidence at the hearing.

Expert witnesses

If you need evidence of a technical nature you may want to engage an expert to provide you with a report and provide evidence at the hearing.  For more information read NCAT Procedural Direction 3 - Expert Witnesses [PDF, 45kB].

Summons

If you need evidence for your hearing and the person and organisation will not provide you with that information, you can request NCAT to issue a summons.

A summons directs a person or company that they must appear before NCAT at a specific time and place to give evidence and/or produce document or other things that are required as evidence.

Learn more about Summons.

 

Quick links

Forms

Summons

NCAT Procedural Direction 2 - Summons [PDF, 57kB]

NCAT Procedural Direction 3 - Expert Witnesses [PDF, 45kB]

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False or misleading evidence

Under section 71 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013, a person must not in any proceedings or application provide any information, or make any statement, to the Tribunal knowing that the information or statement is false or misleading.