Remote hearing FAQs

  • Courts and tribunals have moved to remote hearings as a safe way of dealing with cases without causing delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. This avoids concerns regarding travelling to venues and social distancing.

  • The Tribunal will be using ‘Microsoft Teams’, but you do not need the software in order to partake. You will need either a mobile phone with camera, speaker and microphone or a computer with the same facilities.

  • Don’t worry we will check with you prior to the hearing that your equipment will work.

  • We will email you a link to join it closer to the hearing date.

  • The process and the opportunities to present your case are the same for both. The case will be considered on the evidence/argument provided in your written submission and the presentations on the day. Please read the tribunal’s protocol for parties prior to the hearing as it sets out what you need to do.

  • The tribunal’s normal way of working is to hold virtual hearings. The tribunal will only consider holding a face to face hearing, if it is satisfied that it would be impossible for it to dispense justice remotely. Any application for a face to face hearing must be supported by compelling reasons to justify a departure from the tribunal’s normal way of working.

  • We may be able to arrange the hearing through a telephone conference. In addition, if both parties are agreeable we can consider your appeal entirely on the papers without any hearing taking place.

  • Please contact us immediately if the date is not convenient and we will change it, if you have good reason for the change.

  • Tribunals hear a number of cases and often run all day, usually between 10:00am until 5:00pm. We will confirm the time you need to join the meeting to hear your appeal.

  • We may be able to vary the start time if it suits all those involved, please contact us immediately and we will look into it.

  • The tribunal panel members will have already read your written submission before the hearing date. As they will be familiar with your arguments and evidence, it is anticipated that most hearings will be completed within one hour.

  • Yes, please let us know who they are. They may sit near you (provided you meet any Government rules on social distancing) when we hold the hearing, or we could invite them to join the hearing from another location such as their own home.

  • Anyone can observe a hearing, providing they make it known in advance. Their names will not be provided, they will not be seen on screen and they cannot participate in the hearing. In practice, very few hearings are observed by members of the public.

  • You will need to have your camera on while speaking. If this presents a problem you should raise this with us prior to the start of your hearing.

  • If you encounter any technical difficulties during the hearing you should make everyone aware if you cannot rejoin the hearing promptly through email to the clerk of the Tribunal (their details will be provided to you). We will be monitoring the connection during the hearing. Should connection be lost the hearing will be adjourned until you are able to reconnect.

  • You will be given an opportunity to question the other side’s case. It helps if you can refer to the page number in the appeal bundle, so that everyone can see what you want to query.

  • The Tribunal retains the power to inspect if it considers this necessary. However, it is the responsibility of the parties to ensure that any matters relied upon are adequately evidenced. Photographs usually avoid the need for inspections.

  • Should you require an interpreter to translate you must inform us as soon as you receive the notice so that we can make necessary arrangements. Please remember the translator cannot act as your advocate they will only be available to translate for you.

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