Types of hearings

​C​onsumer and Commercial Division

Matters are listed for hearing according to the type of application and nature of the dispute.  Your notice of hearing will provide information such as the type of hearing event you will be attending and what you need to do to prepare for hearing.

​Group list h​​​​earings 

A ‘group list’ hearing is where a number of cases which are listed together before a Tribunal Member. Most Consumer and Commercial Division applications are listed for a group list hearing. 

When both parties attend a group list hearing, they will be asked to attempt conciliation​.  If an agreement is reached during conciliation, NCAT will make consent orders that reflect the agreement.  If conciliation is unsuccessful, or if only one party appears, the matter will either be heard on the day, if time permits, or be listed for another day.

Sometimes if the parties need to obtain further evidence or if more time is needed to hear the dispute, the hearing may be adjourned to a formal hearing at a later date.

Directions hearings 

Directions hearings are used in complex matters where there is a need to establish jurisdiction, identify issues in dispute, set a timeframe for the hearing, or make directions for the exchange of evidence.​

Special fixture (formal) hearings 

Special fixture hearings, or ‘formal’ hearings are listed for a specific length of time. These hearings are used for matters that need more time for the Tribunal to hear the case and make a final determination.  

Special fixture hearings can run over a few hours or several days, depending on the complexity of the issues in dispute.

​Determinat​​ion on the papers 

Matters can be determined on the papers with the consent of both parties.  Parties are invited to submit all relevant information and written submissions before a decision is made.​

Private 'in camera' hearings 

A private ‘in camera’ hearing means that only the Tribunal Member, the parties and their representatives are present in the hearing room.

Private 'in camera' hearings are used when there is evidence or any matter that is of a confidential nature. 

NCAT can order that the hearing be conducted wholly or partly in private.  This may also occur when the presence of media or other persons could inhibit the resolution of the dispute.