What happens before the tribunal hearing?
Every tribunal establishes its own procedures, so you must always contact the particular tribunal to find out which “rules” you must follow. The rules are usually posted on the tribunal’s website.
There are dozens of provincial, and federal tribunals. This website has sorted Canadian federal and provincial tribunals according to a series topical categories - based on their activites. Search the BC Admin Law Directory on this website to discover which tribunal or regulatory agency deals with your issue. Each listing describes the agency and provides contact information, including the website address and (most of the time) a phone number.
Most tribunals follow some or all of these steps:
- A preliminary review – this first review ensures that the correct tribunal is hearing the case. It usually involves the staff reviewing documents and sometimes making a telephone call to the people involved.
- Case management – this procedure is used to ensure that everyone involved understands which matters are in dispute and that if a hearing is needed, it can proceed in an orderly way. Case management usually involves some discussions between the parties and an adjudicator about how the case will proceed and is sometimes used along with mediation or a settlement conference.
- Mediation or settlement conference – this procedure helps the parties agree on a solution without the need for a tribunal hearing. A single tribunal member usually conducts these meetings.
- Hearings – a hearing is held if the dispute cannot be resolved through any of the steps described above. The hearing may be based on written submissions or in person before the tribunal members.