Under Rule 25 of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Rules, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) may decide to proceed by way of electronic hearing, either entirely or in combination with an in-person or paper/file hearing. An electronic hearing is a hearing held by telephone or video conference.
The Tribunal will consider proceeding by way of electronic hearing if the party or witness taking part in the proceeding is located outside of the National Capital Region.
Any party requesting an electronic hearing should notify the Registrar and the other parties in writing within 5 business days of receipt of the notice of the hearing. Parties may object to the request, but the objecting party must explain why granting the request would seriously affect its own ability to successfully make its case.
When the Tribunal decides it is appropriate to proceed by way of video conference, the Government Teleconferencing Service’s WebEx Enterprise Site will be used for the video portion of the hearing, in tandem with telephone lines for the audio portion. The Tribunal will issue correspondence containing the dial-in and log-in information to parties, counsel or witnesses wishing to participate in the hearing by way of videoconference. Those participants join the videoconference at a pre-established date and time.
Electronic hearings by way of telephone proceed in the same manner except without WebEx; the Registrar will provide the dial-in information and there is no video link.
During the electronic hearing, the Tribunal will permit parties a reasonable opportunity to question other parties or witnesses participating by telephone or video conference for the purpose of verifying their identities. It would be helpful, for example, if the party or witness shows a piece of valid photo ID if participating by video conference. Where the verification of the identity of a party or witness is important, the electronic hearing should proceed by way of video conference. A party or witness not identified to the Tribunal’s satisfaction will not be permitted to speak or testify.
Once the identity of a witness has been verified, the Registrar will administer the affirmation by telephone or video conference.
Parties or witnesses participating by telephone or video conference will not be permitted to submit documents during the hearing that are not already on the record, unless all parties consent and they are able to submit said documents through their counsel/representative on CITT premises.
When confidential information is to be discussed, the Tribunal will apply the same procedures for the conduct of in camera proceedings as are applied for in-person hearings, with the following adaptations: confidential documents will not be displayed on WebEx during videoconferences, and counsel will be responsible for ensuring, pursuant to their undertakings, the confidentiality of the site from which they are participating in the hearing.
Whether participating by telephone or video conference, parties, counsel and witnesses should
- use a landline (not a cell phone);
- be in a quiet and private room where background noise is minimal or non-existent;
- always identify themselves before speaking, speak clearly; and
- have the Registrar’s phone number (1-855-307-2488) available should they have a problem accessing the hearing.
Parties, counsel and witnesses participating by way of video conference shall also
- use a computer that is connected to a Local Area Network (LAN); handheld devices are not permitted;
- dress in proper attire; and
- be in a windowless room or a room where window shades are drawn in order to avoid glare.
If a party, counsel or witness fails to appear, the hearing may proceed without them.
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