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Practice Note #11 –
Witnesses and the Procedure for Obtaining a Subpoena

Adobe icon Practice Note #11 – Witnesses and the Procedure for Obtaining a Subpoena PDF (171KB)

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Practice Note is to guide testimony during hearings and set out the procedure for obtaining a subpoena to ensure the presence of a witness at a hearing.

2. Background

The Tribunal can hear witnesses during the hearing for the purpose of receiving evidence. A person testifies for one party only if that person consents to it or is assigned to testify by way of a subpoena issued by the Tribunal.

The Tribunal therefore has the power to summon as witnesses people with knowledge of the facts related to the case before the Tribunal on the dates, times and places indicated in the notice of hearing. People may also be summoned to bring and produce all the documents, books or exhibits in their possession that are useful to the case.

3. Statement


It is the responsibility of each party to make arrangements with the person(s) they would like to appear and testify on their behalf.

The witness must:

When the witness is unable to meet these requirements, they may be asked to step down from the witness box and cease providing testimony.

Obtaining a subpoena

The party requesting a subpoena must provide the Tribunal, at least 15 days prior to the hearing date, with the following information, in writing:

When the required conditions are met, the Tribunal will issue the summons to appear, duly signed, to the party that made the request.

Service and payment

For a subpoena to have legal effect, two other conditions must be met by the requesting party:

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the witness must be served at least 14 days prior to the hearing. It is the responsibility of the party requesting the subpoena to take the necessary measures to serve the person being summoned and to retain proof of service.

The party that requires a subpoena is responsible for determining the applicable witness fees, in accordance with Tariff A of the Federal Courts Rules, and to complete the summons accordingly. In case of disagreement with one of the proposed witnesses regarding the applicable fees, the party may ask for the Tribunal’s opinion.

4. Approval

Practice Note #11 is approved by the Tribunal’s Chairperson on September 28th, 2020.

Luc Belanger signature

Luc Bélanger
Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal