A hearing at the HRTO is a legal proceeding. It provides an opportunity for the applicant and the respondent to present their positions, including facts and legal arguments, to the adjudicator hearing the case. The adjudicator is a neutral decision-maker with experience, knowledge and training in human rights law and issues.
You and the other party will receive a Notice of Hearing which gives the date and location of the hearing. You have 21 days after the notice of hearing is sent to provide any documents that are relevant to the application with the other party. At this stage, you don’t need to send copies of these documents to the HRTO but you do need to send the HRTO a Form 23. The form confirms that you have shared the documents with the other party. No later than 45 days before your hearing, you need to do two things:
Send the other party a list of all witnesses, a statement of each witness’ intended evidence and a list of the documents you will present at the hearing. You do not need to send the other party copies of the documents themselves if you have already provided them with a copy.
Send the HRTO your witness list, witness statements and copies of the documents you will use at the hearing.
Case Assessment Direction
Sometimes, an adjudicator will issue a Case Assessment Direction (CAD) to help the parties prepare for the hearing. For example, a CAD may remind parties about the documents they are required to disclose to each other, identify issues which the adjudicator wants the parties to be ready to deal with at the hearing and/or confirm the format of the hearing. An adjudicator could also require the parties to participate in a conference call to help prepare for the hearing and issue a CAD after the call.