Picking up from yesterday, you are back in the Hearing Room with parties, transcribers, + observers. “We have an issue that we want to raise with the parties. We have received, in good time, pre-hearing submissions + documents. These have been read + noted by the Tribunal. A further 43-page opening submission appears unnecessary. We welcome the comments of the advocates but, subject to what we hear, we have in mind to put a 30-minute time limit on opening submissions on both sides. May we hear your views. Appellants, first, to be followed by Respondents.”
The blue touchpaper has been lit. Stay calm – maintain your demeanour.
Appellants are unhappy + express themselves in a straightforward manner. Not rude but uncomfortable. Respondents have less to say.
Now back in the retiring room. First, you – the Chair – need to be analytical. You are not allowed to be a Prima Donna. Be low key + focused with S 33 uppermost in your mind. You set out – again – the arguments for and against the 30-minute guillotine. The term “serious irregularity” is mentioned, so is fairness, balance and objectivity.
Some Chairs may feel the pressure + buckle. Others might be stung by the vigour of the appellant’s language + get angry. Disregard both. Instead, stay focused + clear-headed. Bearing in mind how many pages of submissions and evidence you have received is a 30-minute opening statement fair and reasonable in all the circumstances? Are you being S33 compliant?
Tomorrow 7 July
How Not to Give Your Decision.