June 21, 2013
The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat is introducing an Accelerated Hearing Process (AHP) to increase the number of hearings that can be held each week. Under the AHP, the Secretariat will schedule hearings for claims that are not hearing-ready alongside hearing-ready cases in order to fill a week with hearings in a given geographic area.
The benefits of the AHP include earlier hearing dates for claimants, an increase in the number of hearings that can be held each week and the preservation of the claimant’s testimony.
The AHP is designed to allow the Secretariat to schedule hearings in cases that would not normally be ready to proceed. In many cases, this will mean a hearing will be held even though some mandatory documents are not available. Missing documents can then be submitted following the hearing. Final submissions will be made after all mandatory documents are submitted. Decisions in claims that undergo an accelerated hearing will only be written once all of the mandatory documents have been submitted and finals submissions have been made.
The AHP has many checks and balances, including a pre-hearing file management teleconference, to ensure that all participants are comfortable with the process.
Even though AHP hearings may be held before some of the required documents are available, cases that go through an accelerated hearing will be treated with the same level of diligence, thoroughness and fairness as claims that are dealt with under the normal process for IAP claims.
If you require more information about the Accelerated Hearing Process, talk to your lawyer. Self-represented claimants should speak with their Claimant Support Officer, or call the IAP Information Line at 1-877-635-2648.