At the chambers hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to present their cases to the judge or master. Do not interrupt the other side. You will have your opportunity to speak.
The applicant will speak first and explain their position.
The person or persons responding will then explain their position.
The applicant may then have the last word, a chance to “reply” to what the respondents have said.
When you are orally presenting your position on an application to the court, the following general principles may assist your presentation:
- First, for each issue, tell the court what order you are seeking.
- Second, outline the facts necessary to support your application.
- Third, set out the law on the subject.
- Fourth, explain how the law applies to the facts of your case.
- Fifth, indicate that the application of the law to the facts of your case requires the court to issue the order requested.
- Try not to switch back and forth between facts and law.
The judge or master normally gives judgment right away. However, in some cases where the issues are complex, judgment may be reserved (delayed) and provided in writing at a later date.
Stand when you are making your presentation to the judge. Address a male judge as “Mister Justice” and address a female judge as “Madam Justice.” If you are appearing before a master, address both male and female masters as “Your Honour.” Court clerks are addressed as “Mr. or Madam Registrar.”
For more information on what to expect and what to do in court see Family Law Guidebook - Your Day in Court.