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Before anyone provides evidence to the tribunal, they will be asked to swear an oath on a holy book or affirm (promise) to tell the truth. It is a crime to give false evidence before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
When giving evidence, it is important to make sure what you say is relevant and to the point. Present your case in a business-like manner. Even though you might be upset or nervous about the situation, emotional outbursts will not help your case so try to keep calm.
The tribunal may continue with a hearing in your absence so if you cannot attend you have several options which are listed below.
The adjudicator will invite the claimant to tell their side of the story under oath. The adjudicator may ask questions at any time during the presentation.
When the claimant has finished giving evidence, the adjudicator will invite the respondent to ask the claimant questions.
The claimant’s witnesses will be called into the room one at a time to tell their story under oath. The adjudicator may ask questions at any time during their presentations.
When each witness has finished giving evidence, the adjudicator will ask the respondent if they have any questions to ask the witnesses.
Now it is the respondent’s turn to tell their side of the story under oath. As before, the adjudicator can ask questions at any time.
When the respondent has finished presenting their side of the story, the adjudicator will invite the claimant to question the respondent.
Even if you disagree with what the other person is saying, do not interrupt. Take notes about anything you disagree with, so you can raise these issues when it is your turn to question the other person.
The respondent’s witnesses are then called into the hearing room one at a time to give their evidence.
Again, the adjudicator may question the witnesses at any time while they provide their evidence.
When the respondent and the adjudicator have finished questioning the respondent’s witnesses, the claimant may also question them.