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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Preparing for the hearing - Step by step guide

There are four steps to follow when you are preparing for the hearing of your general protections dismissal claim.​

Step-by-step guide icon  Preparing for the hearing - Step by step guide

Step 1: Complete the ​​Statement of Claim or 'points of claim'

Alert Icon You only need to follow this step if the court made an order about you filing and serving a Statement of Claim or 'points of claim'. You should check the orders made by the court in the directions hearings for your case. If you are not sure whether you need to file and serve a Statement of Claim or 'points of claim', you should get legal advice.

What is a Statement of Cla​im?

A Statement of Claim is a document that provides further details of what the applicant (you) says the issues are, and what laws they say the employer broke. It is sometimes called 'points of claim'.

How do I fill ​it out?

Preparing a Statement of Claim can be complicated so you should get legal advice first. A Statement of Claim should explain your case and what you want (the 'remedy'). It should be written in numbered paragraphs.

For information on completing a Statement of Claim, see Statement of Claim.

What do I do once I've c​ompleted the Statement of Claim?

You will need to file it with at least two other copies at the court registry, where it and the copies will be stamped with the seal of the court. Then you have to serve a copy on (give it to) your employer. You can serve it on them at their address for service, which should be on their Response. If they have a lawyer the address for service will usually be the lawyer's address. You can serve it in person, by post or by fax.

Alert IconMake sure you serve the Statement of Claim or 'points of claim' by the date ordered by the court at the first or further directions hearing.

What happen​s next?

After you've served the Statement of Claim, your employer will usually have to file and serve a Defence. They will need to serve it on you by the date ordered by the court at the first or further directions hearing. If they don't, you should get legal advice.

Step 2: Pre​​pare your evidence

The court will usually make an order that you have to 'serve evidence' on your employer. Evidence will usually be given in writing in the form of an 'affidavit'. An affidavit is like a statement, but it is sworn or affirmed in front of a lawyer or Justice of the Peace.

For more information about how to prepare evidence, see Evidence.       

Step 3: Plan what to t​ake to court

You will need to take these things with you to the hearing:

  • your application and claim form
  • your employer's response
  • your Statement of Claim (if you had to prepare one)
  • your employer's defence (if they had to prepare one)
  • copies of any orders made at directions hearings
  • your affidavits
  • any affidavits served on you by your employer
  • annexures and exhibits to any of the affidavits being used in the case
  • your notes for speaking to the judge
  • a notebook and pen to make notes during the hearing
  • highlighters and post-it notes to mark important information
  • your witnesses.  

Step 4: Plan what you are going to say in court

When you are at the hearing, you will have to show the court that:

  • you were dismissed from your job
  • your dismissal broke the laws about general protections in the workplace.

To do this you will need to provide the court with evidence. Write down the main points you want to say to the judge. This may include:

  • stating briefly the circumstances which led to the application (including the general protection that you say your employer breached)
  • mentioning the witnesses, documents and other evidence that support your case
  • explaining what parts of the respondent's evidence you dispute or disagree with, and why.

Hint icon​You could practice saying what you want to say to the judge with one of your friends or relatives. You could also go to the Federal Circuit Court and watch some hearings. If you telephone the court, you can find out the dates and times that general protections dismissal hearings are held. Courts are open to the public (except if a case involves a child) and you can sit in the public area at the back of any court and watch.

For more information, see Presenting your case at the hearing - Step by step guide.

For answers to commonly asked questions, see Going to the Federal Circuit Court - Frequently Asked Questions.