The CRT is not bound by the rules of evidence so one can expect a lot of questionable evidence to make its way into the hearing
As the CRT is geared towards the layperson, the CRT is not bound by the rules of evidence so one can expect a lot of questionable evidence to make its way into the hearing for consideration by the adjudicator. Indeed, the adjudicator may receive or accept any information he/she considers relevant, necessary and appropriate whether admissible in Court. Further, the adjudicator may ask questions of the parties and witnesses so in other words, can take an active role in the introduction of evidence as opposed to listening to the parties and ruling on what evidence the parties lead. Still yet, the adjudicator can play detective as he/she may “inform itself in any other way it considers appropriate”.
Anyone familiar with Court system and the rules of evidence will realize the CRT is the “Wild West” when it comes to evidence. Basically, all evidence is potentially admissible and courtroom procedure is out the window. Such tribunals have often been coined a “Kangaroo Court”.
The CRT Rules clearly anticipate that evidence will primarily be admitted electronically. CRT Rule 17 states that parties must only submit original documents and physical evidence when they are directed or ordered to do so.
Like in Court, if you need a witness to attend the hearing there are avenues to compel attendance. A party may prepare and serve a summons to require a person to provide relevant evidence. The CRT has authority to cancel any summons in accordance with the CRT Rules. The CRT Rules are silent on when they may cancel the summons other than the general discretion to control its own process. CRT Rule 112 permits the CRT to issue summons to a person to provide expert evidence.
In summary, the evidence that can be admitted to the CRT is wide open as the rules of evidence do not apply. The hearings in the future will, no doubt, be filled with collateral and/or hearsay evidence that generally would not make its way into the Supreme Court but decides a CRT hearing.