Practice Direction No.11


Date:
10/06/03



INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMISSION OF NEW SOUTH WALES
 
PRACTICE DIRECTION No. 11

Applications pursuant to section 84 (Unfair Dismissals) Industrial Relations Act1996
(Pursuant to Rule 89 of the Industrial Relations Commission Rules 1996)


1. The purpose of this Practice Direction is to facilitate the resolution of unfair dismissal matters before the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales by ensuring that such proceedings are conducted before the Commission in an efficient and expeditious manner and that practitioners and others who appear before the Commission do all they can to facilitate the just, quick and cost effective disposal of unfair dismissal proceedings before the Commission.

2. This Practice Direction shall come into force 14 days after publication in the Industrial Gazette.

3. Allocation of Listing Date.
    Upon filing of an application under section 84 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 the Registrar shall cause, either at the time of filing or within a period of not more than seven days, a date to be fixed for the matter to be conciliated by a Member of the Commission. The standard or usual time from filing to first listing shall be a period of 21 days.

4. Adjournments.
    Adjournment applications are a matter for the Commission in the proper exercise of its discretion. In accordance with the Commission's function to provide a forum for the resolution of Unfair Dismissal matters in a fair and prompt manner, as a general rule, an adjournment of the date that is allocated for conciliation should not be granted unless there are clear and compelling reasons for the adjournment to occur. This same general approach should also apply in respect of other adjournment applications in proceedings lodged under section 84 of the Industrial Relations Act.

5. Conciliation and Directions hearing.
    (a) Practitioners, industrial agents and others who appear before the Commission should do all they can to facilitate the fair and prompt disposal of matters before the Commission. Ways in which this should occur include:
      ready identification of the issues in dispute

      ensuring readiness for the conciliation hearing

      using their best endeavours to resolve the issues in dispute
    (b) Where a matter is unable to be successfully conciliated the Commission will make the "usual directions" unless the Commission considers that the "usual directions" should be modified or alternative directions made.

    (c) A date for the arbitrated hearing should usually be fixed at the time of making the "usual directions". A date for the arbitration hearing may be fixed at a later time at the discretion of the Commission but within 7 days of the applicant filing and serving statements in accordance with a direction of the Commission.

6. Usual directions:
    For the purpose of this Practice Direction "usual directions" shall mean directions in the following terms or to the following effect:-

    (i) the applicant shall file and serve written statements of the intended evidence of each witness together with any other relevant documentation within 21 days.

    (ii) the respondent shall file and serve written statements of the intended evidence of each witness together with any other relevant documentation within 21 days of the date fixed for the filing and service of the applicant's documents.

    (iii) the applicant shall file and serve any reply to the respondent's documents within 7 days of the date fixed for the filing and service of the respondent's documents.

    (iv) the parties shall include in their written witness statements all matters upon which they rely or they allege are relevant to the proceedings.
7. Other directions:
    The Commission may make such other directions as it considers appropriate for the just resolution of the issues between the parties. Such other directions may include directions that:-

    (i) a party shall file and serve at the same time as they file their witness statements and other relevant documentation a short summary of their case.

    (ii) without leave of the Commission, a party cannot rely on any matter that is not contained within the documentation filed and served by that party.

    (iii) without leave of the Commission, written statements and other documentation filed and served later than the time specified by the Commission may not be relied upon by the party.

    (iv) proceedings shall be conducted on the witness statements and other relevant documentation filed and served by a party except where reasonable notice is given to the other party that a witness is required for cross examination.

    (v) in the absence of any period of reasonable notice being fixed by the Commission, cross-examination of a witness shall not be allowed unless at least 7 days prior to the hearing notice has been given to the opposing party that a witness is required for cross-examination.


Dated: 10th June 2003.
M J Walton JActing President.