Guide to Parties - Directions Hearings

What is a directions hearing?

A directions hearing is held at the ACAT before a Member or Registrar and:

  • is about deciding what needs to be done prior to the dispute being heard;
  • sets a timetable to prepare for a hearing;
  • is when you will be ordered to provide to the ACAT and the other party all the material that you will be seeking to rely on at the hearing; and
  • will either set a date for the hearing or get your availability to set a hearing date.

What can I expect?

A Member or Registrar may ask you about:

  • what documents or other things you have to provide?
  • whether there will be witnesses?
  • whether you require subpoenas to have another person provide you with documents ?
  • when you will be ready for a hearing?
  • how long you think a hearing might take?
  • your availability to attend a hearing and the availability of any legal representation you may have, or witnesses to attend a hearing?
  • if there are any special arrangements required for the hearing?

What can I do if the directions hearing date is unsuitable?

It is very important that you attend the directions hearing. If you cannot do so, you must request an adjournment. You will be notified if your adjournment request is granted.  Unless you hear otherwise from ACAT, you are still required to attend the directions hearing.

If you wish to attend a directions hearing by telephone, you need to seek approval from the ACAT.  Approval should be sought at least 5 business days before your directions hearing.

What happens if I do not attend?

If you do not attend a directions hearing or cannot be reached on the telephone number you give to the ACAT, this may mean:

  • if you are the applicant, your application may be dismissed; and 
  • if you are the respondent and you do not attend, orders may be made in favour of the applicant.

How do I contact the Tribunal?

Further information can be obtained by contacting:

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal
ACT Health Building, Level 4, 1 Moore Street

GPO Box 370
Canberra City ACT 2601

Business Hours:
9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday

Telephone:      (02) 6207-1740
Facsimile:        (02) 6205-4855


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