This Procedural Direction applies to: Workers Compensation Division, Motor Accidents Division
Date of commencement: 1 March 2021
1. The purpose of this Procedural Direction is to set out the practice and procedure of the Commission when determining matters on the basis of the documents provided (‘on the papers’), in the absence of any conference or formal hearing.
2. If the Commission is satisfied that sufficient information has been supplied to it in connection with proceedings, the Commission may determine a matter without holding a conference or formal hearing (section 52(3) of the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020 (the PIC Act)).
3. This Procedural Direction is made by the President under section 21 of the PIC Act.
4. The President or a member before whom a matter is listed may excuse a party from complying with any aspect of this Procedural Direction before or after the time for compliance with any action required.
5. Nothing in this Procedural Direction prevents the President or a member directing a party to take any appropriate step in proceedings.
6. This Procedural Direction is to be read with and subject to any provision of the PIC Act, the enabling legislation, and the Personal Injury Commission Rules 2021.
Procedure for determination ‘on the papers’
7. In appropriate matters, the Presidential member, a member of the Commission or a member of staff whom a matter is listed before will decide whether or not the matter is suitable for determination ‘on the papers’.
8. The following factors will be considered when determining whether a matter should be determined ‘on the papers’:
(a) Have the parties addressed all the relevant issues in their submissions?
(b) Does the evidence deal appropriately with all issues in dispute?
(c) Are further submissions required?
(d) Has one or have both parties requested a decision ‘on the papers’?
(e) Are there any objections to a determination ‘on the papers’?
(f) Are there questions as to the credit of a party or witness?
(g) What is the degree of complexity of the legal and/or factual issues in dispute?
(h) Do the matters in dispute concern only questions of law?
(i) Is one of the parties self-represented and/or by reason of cultural or linguistic background, or for any other reason, prevented from presenting a logical argument in writing?
(j) Does one of the parties lack an understanding of the Commission’s functions and role?
(k) In all the circumstances, is it appropriate to determine the particular matter ‘on the papers’?
9. It is the responsibility of the parties to raise any objection to a matter being determined ‘on the papers’. Any objections are to be supported by reasons as to why the matter is not appropriate to be determined ‘on the papers.’
10. If the matter proceeds to determination ‘on the papers’, the matter will be determined as soon as practicable.