Prepare evidence

Evidence helps you prove your side of the story and helps the VCAT member to decide how the matter should be resolved.

Bring your evidence to the hearing

The best way to give evidence is in person at the hearing. This also includes evidence given by people appearing with you as witnesses. You should support what you say with original copies of documents. Depending on the type of case, these documents may include:

  • affidavits, statutory declarations and witness statements
  • condition reports, contracts, leases, bond receipts and rental records
  • quotes, invoices and receipts
  • expert reports
  • business, diaries and financial records
  • letters and notes of conversations or meetings
  • photographs and videos
  • plans and drawings
  • time sheets and job cards
  • reports from doctors and neuropsychologists
  • reports from social workers and case managers
  • any product that is part of the dispute, if it is a manageable size.

Bring everything with you on the hearing day. You cannot provide further evidence after we make an order at the hearing.

You should bring copies of the documents for the member and the other parties. Both sides have a right to a fair hearing so the member will require you to show all your evidence to the other party.

Be clear and honest

You must be truthful, accurate and clear in your evidence. You will probably be asked questions about it. Make sure you know what you want to say. You may wish to prepare a written statement to read or submit at the hearing.

At the hearing, the member:

  • decides which evidence is relevant to the case
  • may stop you speaking if they believe what you are saying will not affect the final decision
  • may ask questions of anyone who attends or may telephone a person who is unable to attend.

Consider both sides of the case

Be clear about what you hope to achieve and how you can prove it. Consider the position of the other side. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of your position and theirs.

Video and digital evidence

If your evidence is a video or other digital format, we can arrange audiovisual equipment. You must apply to use technology in our hearing rooms at least one week before your hearing. You must supply your own laptop or mobile device.

What happens to evidence after the hearing

If you share evidence or exhibits with VCAT during your case, we may need to keep these on file.

If we do not need to keep them on file, you can collect these from VCAT from one month after the final decision is sent to you. We only hold exhibits for up to three months after the final decision.

You must arrange for the return or collection of any exhibits that VCAT does not have to keep on file. If they are not collected within the timeframe, we may dispose of them.