The review hearing

Hearings are usually quite informal. Each reviewer decides on their own way to conduct the hearing, although they must always act independently, act promptly, and comply with legislation.

Hearings usually happen in this order:

  1. The reviewer welcomes everyone and explains the process.
  2. The reviewer establishes what the review is about.
  3. All parties and their representatives are given a chance to speak in turn, as directed by the reviewer. As discussed earlier, people who are giving evidence may need to take an "oath" or "affirmation" (a promise to tell the truth).
  4. The reviewer can ask questions of the parties or witnesses at any time, and will direct when the parties may ask questions of each other. The reviewer may also request parties’ representatives to ask appropriate questions. The reviewer may also say that questions should be asked through them.
  5. The reviewer will ask about costs.
  6. The reviewer either closes the hearing or adjourns it, keeping it open. If the hearing is adjourned, then additional instructions will be given. This is called adjourning the review hearing “part-heard”.
  7. All review hearings are recorded from start to finish.