Video 2 - What to Expect at a Directions Hearing Transcript

Narrator: This is a notice advising parties that a matter before the tribunal has been listed for a directions hearing.

A directions hearing is a short hearing where a tribunal member will discuss with the parties how a matter can progress as quickly as possible to be resolved. Usually within two to three weeks of an application being lodged it will be listed for a directions hearing.

If fees are not paid, a directions hearing might not be listed.

If the date given for the directions hearing isn't suitable, write to the tribunal, asking for it to be changed.

Also include any other dates that you can't attend. This request will be referred to the relevant tribunal member to decide.

It is possible to attend a directions hearing via video or telephone link by making a written request explaining your reasons for it. The tribunal will then decide if it's an appropriate alternative.

When anyone writes to the tribunal or gives the tribunal a document about a matter, the person must also give a copy of that document to the other parties.

Unless an order is made otherwise, the tribunal cannot read or have any regard to a document or correspondence unless the other parties also have a copy.

The directions hearing notice will generally state where the hearing is held.

Sometimes the tribunal might change the room, so it's important to check the listing board when you arrive, it's on the ground floor near the lifts. Look for the names of the parties for the matter that you're involved in.

For example one of the matters shown on the board is Smith versus the City of Perth. It will be held at 12 o'clock in 2.01 which means room one on level two.

This is a directions hearing in progress. A tribunal member sits facing everyone. To their right is the member's assistant or the case management officer. Sitting at the bench or bar table are the parties to the matter. On the right, is the applicant, the person who commenced the matter. And on the other side is the respondent, the person responding to the application.

The people in the back of the room are waiting for their directions hearing.

Parties attending a directions hearing may wait outside the hearing room.

The case management officer will come out when the tribunal is ready for you, take the names of the people who will be attending and bring you into the hearing room.

It's also okay for the parties to go directly into the hearing room and sit at the back.

Case Managment Officer: Smith and the Department of Transport can you please step forward and sit at the bench.

Narrator: When your matter number is called, the parties go to the front table and sit down.

A directions hearing is held so decisions can be made about how a matter should progress. Usually the tribunal member will make the necessary orders to progress the matter.

Some of the issues that might be considered at a direction's hearing are: Should there be a mediation between the parties? If so, the tribunal will order a time and a place and any other orders necessary to make the most of the mediation.

If the matter needs to go to a final hearing, when should that occur and what needs to be done to get the matter ready? Does the matter need to go to another directions hearing? If so, the tribunal may order another one.

Does something need to be done or does information need to be obtained before the matter can progress? If so, orders might be made reflecting that. It's important to come to a directions hearing prepared.

For example, as some of the outcomes might result in mediation, another directions or a final hearing, the parties will need to know if there are any dates that would not suit them, their experts or their other witnesses.

The tribunal member may ask you questions about your case to decide what orders need to be made.

This might include the evidence that you intend to rely on at the final hearing, whether you will call any witnesses, or put any documents before the tribunal, whether there is the need for expert evidence, and if so who those experts are?

If you know ahead of the directions hearing what orders you would like the tribunal to make, and if the other parties agree with them, you can send in a document that asks the tribunal to make those orders.

The tribunal has a list of standard orders that it often makes that you can refer to, in order to help decide what orders you would like made. The standard orders are on the tribunal's website.

If the tribunal member agrees with the orders that the parties want made, the member will make those orders eliminating the need for a directions hearing. After the directions hearing, the tribunal will send a copy of the orders made to all parties.

Before you enter a hearing room or a mediation room you must turn your mobile phone off or onto flight mode.

You must remove your sunglasses and hats unless they are medically necessary.

The public is not allowed to record any hearings or mediations but parties may make notes. The tribunal records all hearings, it does not record mediations.

You can request a copy of the transcript for any hearing by filing a transcript request form. Unless ordered otherwise there will be a cost for a transcript.

Vision: Close up of State Administrative Tribunal sign and the State of Western Australia crest.