In today’s episode of Talking Legal, trusted Brisbane construction lawyer, Duncan Brown, discusses final QCAT hearings.

1. What happens at the final hearing at Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)?

The final hearing is a lot less formal than court but is still a serious proceeding.

A member will go through the order of witnesses, how the matter will proceed (specifically scheduling), and any objections with evidence that the parties may have.

Then, they’ll open their case – witnesses will give the evidence in chief, the respondent will have the chance to cross examine, and the applicant will re-examine.

Once all the witnesses are done, the applicant will then close the case and the respondent will have a chance to open theirs. The same process will occur again but with the roles reversed.

Once that’s finished, the proceedings will typically close and the parties will have a chance to put in written submissions to finalise it.

2. What occurs in Evidence in chief?

The evidence in chief is a short and straight forward process. In QCAT, evidence is typically given via a written statement.

In court, the witness will have already prepared and filed a written statement of evidence and the solicitor will then ask them to read it. This typically only takes a minute or two.

3. Who will be called as witness?

The witnesses are those whose evidence the parties want to rely on in the proceedings. In construction disputes, this will often include expert witnesses.

4. What is cross examination?

Once the witness has given the evidence in chief, the cross examination starts.

Cross examination is typically the longest and most unpleasant part of giving evidence for the witness. That’s because this is the other side’s chance to pick apart the statement of evidence.

5. What are final submissions?

Final written submissions are closing arguments. Typically, the applicant will write a final submission and the respondent will get a chance to respond.

Although they don’t have to, the applicant will get another chance to provide further submissions in response.

Once those final submissions are in, that’s the end of the matter.

For more information and tailored legal advice, book a consultation with a Trusted Construction Lawyer in Brisbane.

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