Observers are people who attend a hearing, but don’t take part.
What observers do
Observers attend a hearing to listen. They don’t speak. They don’t provide evidence.
Who can observe
Anyone can observe a hearing. At the Social Security Tribunal (SST), we follow the open court principle, which ensures public access to courts and tribunals. Public access helps people understand what the SST does and keeps us accountable. When people see what we do, it helps them trust how we deliver justice.
Most hearings don’t have observers, but some do.
Observers at a hearing could include:
- a representative’s colleague
- someone invited by a party to observe
- representatives of organizations who help people with appeals
- law students
- new SST members
- SST employees
In rare cases, if there are serious privacy or safety concerns, a member may limit public access to a hearing.
For more information see: Open justice and privacy.
How to observe a hearing
If you want to observe a hearing, contact us and provide us with:
- your contact information (name, phone number, email address)
- the type of hearing you’re interested in
We will get in touch with you to discuss options.