Legal proceeding is a procedure or action established in a court of law to acquire a right, interest or benefit or to reinforce a remedy. There are three main types of legal proceedings; hearing, compulsory conferences, and mediation.
They resolve civil, disciplinary, child safety, anti-discriminatory, limited guardianship and education matters. The conference takes place before a hearing.
Importance of compulsory conferences
- They ascertain and clarify the issues at hand.
- Make orders and also give directions on how to settle the dispute.
- It is meant to come up with a solution to the dispute that will remove the need for a hearing.
- Compulsory conferences identify queries that the tribunal will decide on.
- If after the conference a solution is not arrived at, then a directive is given on how the case will proceed until its revolved.
As you attend the conference, you will need to bring any piece of evidence including but not limited to receipts, invoices, and quotations. Organize the evidence and be prepared with points to support your argument.
Compulsory conferences take place in private rooms. The complexity of the matter determines the length of the hearing. An adjudicator, Principal Registrar or a member conducts the hearing. The hearing begins when the person conducting it is ready. You are allowed to negotiate a settlement with the other party during breaks.
Besides, the evidence and information provided in the conference cannot be referred to or used at the hearing. If you settle with the other party, then the representative records the terms of agreement in writing.
You will then be requested to sign the agreement together with the other party. Each of you receives a copy of the agreement. However, if you do not agree, the case proceeds to a hearing.
The hearing makes the final decision about the case. It is important that you bring all pieces of available evidence about the case. The evidence can include receipts, quotations, and receipts. Give the evidence to the person conducting the hearing. Three adjudicators or member’s conduct the case. The length will take is dependent on its complexity.
During the hearing, the person who made the application first is invited to give evidence first. All the people giving evidence are required to swear on a Bible that they will provide truthful and accurate information. Assuming you are the one who made the application first; you and your witnesses will be cross-examined first. The other party will ask you and your witness questions. After that, the people conducting the hearing may also ask you questions. The same happens to other parties.
However, if any witness is not able to personally attend the hearing, then a signed affidavit can be presented. Since they cannot be cross-examined, the people conducting the hearing may not take the evidence with much weight.
After the hearing, the adjudicator or member conducting the hearing gives their verdict. In some instances, the adjudicator or member are not able to give the evidence immediately. In such a situation, they convene the parties involved at a later date where they will give the verdict.
In this kind of proceeding, the mediator does not make a ruling; instead, they help the parties involved to come to an agreement. The mediator is an Independent third party.
Importance of mediation
- It is confidential and whatever you discus will not be mentioned in a hearing.
- Parties involved can enjoy a win/win outcome.
- It gives you an opportunity to decide on the agreements and solutions.
- It creates a platform for you to give detailed and useful information
- Saves money and time
- The informal setting makes it easy to express yourself better.
Mediation is only successful if all parties cooperate. The mediator gives clear instructions during introductions. So, listen attentively. Allow the other party to talk as everyone has an opportunity to express themselves. However, if no solution is agreed upon, then the matter is addressed in a hearing.