Prepare Your Evidence
It is important that you prepare for the hearing. The effort you devote to your preparation may have a direct impact on the decision of the Tribunal.
Agree on Facts
The Tribunal expects parties to agree on evidence that is not in dispute; this can decrease the amount of time needed for the hearing.
You should review the Record and the evidence of the other parties to determine if there are any facts with which you agree. If so, you should contact the other parties (or their lawyers) to discuss these facts and their inclusion in the Statement of Position (Form 14).
Prepare Your Documents or Other Evidence
You should prepare your documents well in advance of the hearing. You should review the Record to determine if it contains all the evidence necessary for the appeal. If it does, you will not need to present any evidence during the hearing.
If you want to present evidence in addition to the Record or want to provide clarification in relation to evidence contained in the Record, you can do so by testifying, by bringing witnesses to testify or by presenting additional documents at the hearing.
The following can assist in preparing your evidence:
- Review all the documents in the Record.
- Consider whether other documents support your position.
- Organize all the materials, including those provided by the other parties, to be able to easily find your documents during the hearing.
Share Your Documents with the Parties and the Registrar
If you intend to present documents at the hearing, you must share these documents with all other parties and the Registrar of the Tribunal within the time fixed by the Tribunal panel. If you do not provide your documents to the other parties before the hearing, you will not be able to use them at the hearing without the permission of the Tribunal. See rule 10.3 and rule 10.5 of the Rules of Procedure.
The Registrar will compile the documents of each party, review them for privacy concerns, and assign a number to each document. The Registrar will return a copy of the numbered documents to the parties.
The Tribunal members assigned to hear the matter will only receive the documents the day of the hearing.
Determine Whether Witnesses are Needed and Prepare Your Witnesses
It is possible that the Record contains all the evidence necessary for the appeal (including your evidence). If it does, you will not need to testify or bring any witnesses to testify at the hearing.
If the Record does not contain all the evidence necessary for the appeal, you may want to testify or call witnesses to testify at the hearing to support your version of the facts. Witnesses can provide very powerful evidence at a hearing. Below is detailed information on how to bring witnesses to testify at a hearing.
- Include the name of the witness and a description of the anticipated testimony of the witness in your Statement of Position (Form 14). You do not need to provide a description of your own testimony, only that of your witnesses.
- If your witness is reluctant to attend the hearing, consider providing the Registrar with a completed Summons to Witness (Form 8). When you receive the signed Summons to Witness from the Registrar, serve it on the witness in accordance with rule 2.4 together with the attendance fees required by rule 10.8. When a Summons to Witness is properly served upon a witness, the Tribunal can take measures to force the witness to attend the hearing.
- Determine whether you will call an expert witness. An expert witness is a specialist in a particular field by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience who provides an opinion about an evidence or fact issue within the scope of his or her expertise. The purpose of the expert witnessí testimony or report is to provide assistance to the panel members.
- If you are calling an expert witness, advise all other parties within the time fixed by the hearing panel of the name of the expert witness and the issue on which the expert will provide evidence and provide them with the expertís report, if any. See rule 10.6 and rule 10.7 for more details.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask your witnesses.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask the other partiesí witnesses in cross-examination. The purpose of these questions will be to (1) obtain admissions from the witness, (2) impeach the credibility of the witness, and (3) reveal contradictions or inconsistencies in the evidence of the witness.
- Consider interviewing the other partiesí witnesses to see if they have any evidence helpful to your case. You can then ask them about that evidence at the hearing.
- Prepare your witnesses before the hearing by asking them the questions that you expect to ask them at the hearing. To prepare them for cross-examination by other parties, ask them the questions that you think other parties might ask. Make sure your witnesses know they must tell the truth, even if it is not helpful to your case.
- A person testifying at must either swear on a holy book or solemnly declare to tell the truth. If you or your witnesses want to swear on a holy book other than the Holy Bible, please contact the Registrar.