The role of the adjudicator
Before the hearing begins, the adjudicator may ask the parties if they wish to try mediation/adjudication. If they agree and sign a consent, the adjudicator will work with them to resolve the dispute. Mediation/adjudication is like mediation except that if mediation is not successful the hearing will go ahead and the same adjudicator will decide the application. The adjudicator will not consider what was heard or said in the mediation when making a decision after the hearing. When the hearing starts, the adjudicator will describe the hearing process, identify what he or she understands to be in dispute and may ask the parties whether they can agree on any facts or issues. The adjudicator controls the hearing. Because the adjudicator must remain neutral he or she cannot provide legal advice or tell a party how best to conduct its case. It is up to the applicant and the respondent to present evidence to support their positions. The adjudicator will often ask questions during the hearing. The adjudicator considers the evidence and the parties’ arguments and writes a decision explaining the result.
The role of the parties
During the hearing, a party can question witnesses and introduce relevant documents as evidence. The parties make arguments about the facts and the law. Everyone participating in the hearing is expected to be courteous and respectful of the adjudicator and each other.