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Follow these eight steps to present your closing argument at an arbitration hearing

by , 13 October 2014
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process that takes place at the CCMA and at bargaining councils if conciliation hasn't been successful.

It's a full re-hearing of the entire case, plus an investigation of the fairness of your procedures leading up to the dismissal (presentation of all the evidence, cross-examination of witnesses, etc).

One of important things you'll have to do after presenting your case is to provide a closing argument. It's important you get this right as it's your final chance to convince the Commissioner about the merits of your case.

Keep reading as we reveal the eight steps you must follow to present your closing argument at an arbitration hearing so you can beat the odds at arbitration.

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Eight steps to follow when presenting your closing argument at an arbitration hearing

At an arbitration hearing, you'll have the opportunity to present your closing argument first – your employee will go after you.
Take a look at the eight steps you must follow to present a compelling closing argument…
Step 1: Emphasise the issues you want the Commissioner to decide on and the result you want.
Step 2: Give a short summary of the facts.
Step 3: Refer to any strong points you made in your opening statement.
Step 4: Address weaknesses in your case and why these shouldn't seriously influence the finding.
Step 5: Refer to evidence presented that supports your case.
Step 6: Give counter-argument to evidence presented by the other side.

Step 7: Refer to relevant case law if you have any and emphasise these precedents to the Commissioner.
Step 8: End by saying you have no new evidence to present.
After hearing all the evidence and argument, the Commissioner will consider all the facts as well as the relevant law and legal principles and make a decision. He'll hand down the award within 14 days of the arbitration hearing.
Following these eight steps will help you present your closing argument properly and beat the odds at an arbitration hearing.
PS: For more information on arbitration, we strongly recommend you get your copy of CCMA for Managers.

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