NCAT witnesses

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Forums Disputes and litigation NCAT witnesses

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  • #386443
    Aitik
    Member

    Do you need to use witnesses at NCAT or only if required to demonstrate your case? What constitutes a witness in NCAT proceedings? Can it include Owners, SC members, strata manager/s past and present, engineers, etc.?

    #390735
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Hi Aitik,

    Witnesses are used when you need to prove a fact and often the best – and sometimes only – way to do that is have a person relay what they saw, heard, did or wrote.

    Who your witnesses are therefore depends on what you’re trying to prove. Any of the people you have listed above can be witnesses. You will need an expert witness (like an engineer) when you need to prove a fact that is only within the knowledge of someone with a specific type of expertise. Eg: a committee member is not (usually) qualified to say whether or not there is concrete cancer in a building. An engineer is the person with the qualification to identify concrete cancer and say what must be done about it. That is recorded in a report signed by the engineer and the engineer is then a witness in the proceedings. The procedural rules here apply to expert witnesses in NCAT proceedings: https://ncat.nsw.gov.au/documents/procedural-directions/ncat_pd3_expert_witnesses.pdf

    In a case where all of the facts are within your own knowledge and you can say that you personally saw, heard, did and/or wrote everything of relevance to your case, then you may be the only witness.

    Amanda.

     

    #390944
    Aitik
    Member

    Very helpful – warm thanks Amanda.

    #390993
    Dee (NSW)
    Member

    Thanks for sharing this Amanda. It’s very helpful to me too!

    -Dee.

    #391716
    Aitik
    Member

    Hi Amanda

    If you engaged an engineer and got a report, do you need to call them as a witness?
    Can costs to cover witnesses be recovered through NCAT process under Act if you win?

    #391734
    Aitik
    Member

    For costs – I mean for expert reports and attendance of witness at hearing.

    #392009
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    If you have filed their report and will be relying on it as part of your material before the Tribunal, the engineer should make themselves available to attend the hearing and answer questions from the other side and/or the Tribunal member about their report.

    These days, as hearings are still happening by phone in NSW, I am telling my experts to be ‘on call’. Sometimes the other side will tell you before the hearing that they definitely want the expert in attendance for the purpose of cross examination. Then, you must make sure they are there.

    Yes, the cost of expert reports + witness expenses are a type of cost you can recover as part of a cost order, if you’re successful in obtaining one.

    Amanda.

    #392420
    Aitik
    Member

    Thanks Amanda, and witness expenses incurred to attend hearing… does this require some formal process? What if they can’t attend that day?

    #392690
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Hi Aitik,

    If you want to rely on expert evidence, it’s your job to make sure your expert is available on the day of the hearing. It is my practice to get everyone’s available dates before attending a directions hearing so that I can tell the Tribunal of hearing dates that will not be suitable.

    Amanda.

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