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Oral hearings are the exception not the rule

Generally appeals are decided by an Appeal Committee only on the basis of the papers before the Committee.

An oral appeal would only be appropriate where there are issues of fact that cannot be gleaned from the papers and it is unlikely that the submission of further paperwork will establish them. If a client, who wishes to appeal, requests that they be heard orally by an Appeal Committee, the Director of Decision Making and Support will decide whether that request should be acceded to.  This is itself a decision for the purposes of the Act and Regulations and may be appealed to the appeal committee itself. If that happens, the papers relating to the appeal should be forwarded to the Appeal Committee. The Appeal Committee should be notified of the client’s wish for an oral appeal and the reasons why the Executive refused that request.

The Committee should consider the papers and determine, on a case by case basis, whether it is in a position to make a decision in the absence of hearing the client in person or if it considers that there may be additional factual information that the client may have and has not already furnished, that will enable it to reach a better informed decision. It is not considered appropriate that a decision of the executive not to accede to a request for an oral appeal is a decision that can be appealed in isolation of the appeal itself.