Court Proceedings

Court proceedings are informal but orderly, and, subject to the provisions of the IR Act, are within the Court's discretion. The Court is not bound by the Evidence Act and may inquire into a matter in any way that it thinks just. The Court acts "according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case without regard to technicalities and legal forms." (Section 60(1)(c) of the IR Act).

In the conduct of hearings, the Court may take evidence on oath; summon the parties to the dispute and witnesses and compel the production of documents and materials; conduct its proceedings or any part of its proceedings in private; and generally, give any directions and do anything necessary for the quick and just hearing and determination of the dispute.

At the hearing, the union may be represented by an officer of the union or by an industrial relations officer selected by the union. The employer may be represented by an employee or by an officer of the union to which the employer belongs. The IR Act prohibits representation by a practising lawyer or paid agent except where the matter relates to contempt of court. The parties will take turns to present their arguments to the Court. The Court may ask the parties for clarifications and for further information wherever necessary.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court will adjourn to deliberate on the dispute and may give its decision either on the same day or another day, depending on the circumstances of the case.