Directions Hearing

An Industrial Magistrate may conduct a directions hearing before a claim goes to the substantive hearing. Matters that may be covered in a directions hearing include:

  • Identifying the issues that require determination at the substantive hearing (often referred to as the 'issues in dispute')
  • Identifying any interim issues that need to be determined before the substantive hearing
  • Issuing or amending programming orders
  • Identifying the evidence proposed to be called by the parties at the substantive hearing and how that evidence can be presented
  • Exploring the prospects of a settlement of the claim on terms that are agreed upon by the parties
  • Listing the claim for the substantive hearing

Substantive Hearing

A substantive hearing, which is sometimes referred to as a trial, is where the Court will hear and determine the substance or merits of the claim in dispute. It is a formal process held at the Court where each party presents their version of what has happened to an Industrial Magistrate.

Hearings usually proceed in the following manner:

  • The claimant will make their case first, calling witnesses and providing documents and other evidence to the Court
  • The respondent then has their turn to make their case and respond to anything the claimant has raised and present their evidence to the Court
  • The claimant then has the opportunity to respond to anything the respondent has raised


The Industrial Magistrate looks at the evidence, decides the outcome of the claim and makes an order/s. The Industrial Magistrate may give their decision and make orders at the end of the hearing or they may reserve their decision (meaning they will give their decision and make orders at a later date).

The Court’s decisions are required to be published online and remain on the public record.