Information Sheet: Representation
The OSET does not require or expect that you will be represented at a hearing. You can represent yourself or you can rely on someone to help you prepare for and participate in the appeal.
The OSET does not arrange or pay for representation for parties, nor can it order one party to pay for representation for the other party.
Questions and Answers
What is a representative?
A representative can be:
- someone licensed by the Law Society to provide legal services
- someone who is permitted by the Law Society to provide legal services without a licence
- an unpaid family member, an unpaid friend or neighbour who provides legal services no more than three times a year
- a student, a volunteer or an employee of a legal aid clinic
A representative is responsible for:
- communicating with the tribunal and the other party
- acting on their client's instructions
- preparing and presenting their client's case to the tribunal, as directed by their client
What is a support person?
A support person can be:
- a family member or a friend
- an employee or volunteer from an organization, such as such as the parent organizations for the various exceptionalities
A support person:
- attends the hearing to provide moral support and assistance to the parents
- cannot provide legal services or advice
Can the OSET exclude a representative from a hearing?
The OSET may remove a representative from a hearing if it finds that the representative:
- is in a conflict of interest
- is not competent to properly represent or advise the party
- does not appear to understand and comply with the duties and responsibilities of a representative outlined in the tribunal's Rules of Procedure
How do parents find a representative?
Parents often find a representative through a referral from other parents or from a non-profit advocacy organization. For information on how to find a lawyer or paralegal, visit Get Legal Help.
There are many non-profit advocacy organizations that provide advice and guidance to parents on various issues related to the special needs of their children. Here a list of some of the organizations. If you know of an organization that should be added to the list, contact us.
What should I do if I get a new representative or my representative's contact information changes?
If contact information for your representative changes, notify the OSET as soon as possible. The OSET will notify the hearing panel members and the other party.
See also: Practice Direction – Representation before the Tribunal