What is facilitation?
Facilitation is mainly about helping you to resolve your dispute by agreement. Our facilitators are dispute resolution experts who will help everyone through this process. They are also neutral. That means they won’t take sides. They’ll ask you to provide evidence to support your position. And if your dispute isn’t resolved during facilitation, you will be able to request adjudication, where a tribunal member will make the decision for you.
What happens during Facilitation?
The facilitation process is flexible, and will depend on the specific circumstances of your dispute. However, facilitation will usually include four steps:
- Clarifying the Claim: The Facilitator will talk with all parties to make sure they understand what the dispute is about
- Facilitated Mediation: The Facilitator will do a mediation with the parties to see if they can settle the issues
- Exchange of Evidence: The parties will exchange their evidence
- Preparation for the Tribunal Decision Process: If the parties can’t resolve their dispute during Facilitation, the Facilitator will prepare them for the Tribunal Decision Process
What can the Facilitator do?
The Facilitator can do a lot of things to help you resolve your dispute, including:
- Help the parties talk about the dispute to see if they can settle the issues
- Provided a non-binding neutral response
- Communicate with each party individually
- Recommend that a party be added to the dispute, or removed from the dispute
- Help the applicant describe what they want
- Help the parties to figure out what evidence is needed and exchange that evidence with the other parties
What if we can’t resolve the dispute in Facilitation?
If you can’t agree on a resolution, the facilitator will help everyone get ready for the Tribunal decision process. You’ll learn about how this process works. You’ll also learn about some of the work you need to do to get ready.
What is a withdrawal?
An applicant who starts a dispute with the CRT but decides not to go ahead with it will need to request a withdrawal. A withdrawal doesn’t actually count as a resolution.
What is a dismissal?
If you’ve started a dispute with the CRT but decide the dispute should be dismissed without an agreement or a decision being made, you need all the people in your case to agree. A dismissal counts as a final resolution of the dispute.
What do I need to know about evidence?
Evidence is information that helps prove or disprove a fact. Evidence can include a lot of different things. The table below shows common examples of evidence and why it’s helpful for the dispute resolution process.
- To show the terms of an agreement or contract that people are disputing
- To show an estimate of how much it will cost to repair or replace something that was damaged, lost, or taken
- To show a policy or set of bylaws that applies to the dispute
- To show a letter or other correspondence that someone sent to another person making a promise to do something
- To show a letter or other correspondence
- To show a report provided by a doctor or another expert about something in the dispute
- To show the place where damage or harm occurred to someone or something
- To show the damage that happened to someone or something
- To show what the work someone did looked like when it was finished
- To show how a product that someone purchased looked when it was delivered
- To show a place but with more detail, including action and sound
- To show how a thing works or operates
- To show a person doing something
- To show how an event happened
How is evidence used in the Tribunal?
Evidence helps everyone understand the facts in a dispute. This better understanding helps parties identify possible resolutions to their disputes. It can also help parties understand the strength of their case, and how to explain it to the CRT.
Who will see my evidence?
Evidence you provide will be seen by other parties in your dispute and by the Tribunal. At some point, a member of the public may ask for permission to see it. The Tribunal will decide whether this request meets the Tribunal’s policy for public access to evidence.
How do I provide my evidence to the Tribunal?
During intake, you should only provide a description of your evidence. The facilitator may ask you or the other parties to provide the evidence itself, later in the process. If your dispute goes to a Tribunal member for a decision, you’ll have an opportunity to provide your evidence, and to request evidence from the other parties. The easiest way to provide evidence is to create a digital copy of it. You can then upload that digital information to the Tribunal’s website, or send it by email to your facilitator.
If your evidence is a document or photo that’s not in an electronic format, try scanning it to create a digital copy. In some cases, you might be able to take a clear, focused picture of it with a smartphone or tablet. You can then provide this digital copy to the CRT.
If a CRT facilitator or the Tribunal decides they want to see an original copy or even a better copy of digital evidence you created, they might ask you for it later.
What if I can’t create a digital copy of my evidence?
If you can’t create a digital copy of evidence you want to provide to the CRT, provide a description of your evidence instead. Your description should say that you have the evidence but couldn’t create a digital copy to provide to the Tribunal.
A CRT facilitator will talk to you about this evidence if it becomes necessary. If your dispute requires a decision from a CRT member, you may be required to provide your evidence by mail or fax.
How much evidence do I provide?
As a starting point, provide the evidence that explains your claim or explains why you are not responsible for a claim someone is making against you. Try to keep it focused on the dispute.
What is expert evidence?
Expert evidence can help show what is wrong, how it happened, what might happen if it’s not fixed or how it can be fixed. An expert is more convincing if they are licensed or certified and have lots of experience with this specific problem.
Sometimes, each party will have their own expert. But if parties can agree on an expert to use, it can help focus on the problem and resolution. This is appropriate when the parties agree that a problem exists but can’t agree on other issues, like how it happened. It will also help to keep costs down for both parties.
What if I have evidence that helps the other side in my dispute?
Resolutions at the CRT should be based on all the available facts. That means that parties must provide any information that helps to prove or disprove a claim in the dispute. It’s wrong to cover up evidence that relates to the dispute, even if it hurts your claim.
It is an offence under the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act to provide false or misleading information to the CRT.
Why do you want me to provide copies and photographs instead of the actual document or other evidence?
If the CRT thinks that the original copy of a document or the actual, physical piece of evidence is required to resolve a dispute on the facts, you will be told when and how to provide it. Until that time, the CRT process relies on copies to support the dispute resolution process.
What if I have privacy concerns about my evidence?
The CRT must balance the need to protect parties’ sensitive information with the need for the public to see how the CRT makes its decisions. If you have privacy concerns about your evidence, please discuss this with your facilitator, or the CRT member who adjudicates your dispute.
In certain circumstances, the CRT may decide not to release information publicly, depending on the potential harm to the affected person.
To help protect the privacy of others, please avoid providing evidence about someone else unless it explains the facts in your dispute.