If you want someone to appear as a witness in support of your case, you can apply to the Tribunal or Chairperson for a witness summons. This means the person must attend the Tribunal and give evidence at your hearing.
The summons includes information like where and when they must attend; the type of documents or records they must bring with them to show the Tribunal; the amount of allowance and travel expenses they’ll be paid for attending; and the penalty if they don’t attend.
Before the Tribunal will issue a summons, it must be satisfied that your witness can give relevant evidence. For the Tribunal to be able to decide this, you must send the Tribunal a written application from yourself and a signed statement of evidence from the person you want to be a witness.
If your witness doesn’t want to or can’t make a signed statement, you must give (‘file’) the Tribunal a ‘will say’ statement of evidence. This is a statement that is an accurate record of what the witness will say in evidence (it’s not a statement of what you wish they would say).
Once the Tribunal has issued the summons, a Tribunal case manager will give it to you. It’s then your responsibility to deliver the summons to your witness - you can deliver it in person at least 24 hours before the witness must be at the hearing, or you can post it to the witness as a registered letter at least 10 days before the witness must be at the hearing.
As the person requesting the witness to attend the hearing, you’re liable to pay them a witness fee, allowance and travel expenses. To find out how much you’re liable to pay, see:
It’s an offence if a witness is summoned and doesn’t attend the hearing, or attends but doesn’t bring the documents or records requested in the summons. The witness can be fined $1500 for this offence.
The relevant legal provisions can be found in sections 109 and 111 of the Human Rights Act 1993 (external link) , and in the Witnesses and Interpreters Fees Regulations 1974 (external link) Schedule.