We hold hearings and conferences in a ‘hearing room’. Understand who will be there and where everyone sits so you know what to expect.
The Commission Member is the person who decides on the case. They sit at the front of the room, facing out toward the other people.
The Associate is the Member’s assistant. The Associate sits in front of the Member and helps them conduct the hearing.
The bar table
The large table at the front of the hearing room is the bar table.
If you are representing yourself, you sit at the bar table.
If you have a lawyer or paid agent, they sit at the bar table. You can sit with them or in the public gallery directly behind them.
At the bar table:
- the applicant and/or their representative usually sit on the right hand side
- the respondent and/or their representative usually sit on the left hand side.
The witness box
Witnesses give their evidence and answer questions from the witness box.
The public gallery
At the back of the hearing room is the public gallery. This is where people can sit to watch the proceedings.
The public gallery is where your family members or support people, or those of the other party, will sit. Sometimes members of the media and the public will also come along.
A conference is less formal
A conference is less formal than a hearing. In a conference, everyone usually sits together at the conference table, including the Member.
Conferences are usually held in private. Find out about the differences between conferences and hearings.