A guide for health services who want to request a hybrid hearing to meet the needs of a patient

Definition of “hybrid hearing”

A hybrid hearing is a Tribunal hearing where at least one Tribunal member attends the hearing venue in-person while the other member(s) attend online.

When to request a hybrid hearing

The Tribunal currently conducts its hearings by online video using the Microsoft Teams platform (‘MS Teams’). However, some consumers have needs or circumstances that require a face-to-face hearing. To meet the needs of consumers and maximise participation at Tribunal hearings, the Tribunal may decide to conduct a hybrid hearing.


  • The Tribunal is committed to making all reasonable efforts to facilitate a hybrid hearing.

  • All requests for a hybrid hearing are assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a range of considerations.

  • All requests will be managed through the health service. Registry will liaise with the health service contact officer to confirm hearing arrangements.

Who can request a hybrid hearing?

  • Patient or their support person
  • Health service
  • Legal representative (via the health service)

How to request a hybrid hearing

To request a hybrid hearing email Registry as soon as possible at registry@mht.vic.gov.au.

In your request, include information about the following:

  • Patient details and circumstances: why is a hybrid hearing required? How will a hybrid hearing support the patient’s participation?
  • Confirm hearing date and/or order expiry date.
  • Who will be attending the hearing and how?
  • Does the patient want legal representation or require an interpreter?
  • How much time will the hearing need?

Registry will then liaise with the health service contact officer to confirm details for coordinating the
hearing on the day.

Patients can also request a hybrid hearing.

Patients can call or email the Tribunal to request a hybrid hearing. Registry will liaise with the health
service to facilitate a hybrid hearing.

How to prepare for a hybrid hearing

1. Advise all parties about the hybrid arrangements and how to participate.

We encourage the treating team to speak to the patient and their support people about how the hearing is going to work and what they can expect. 

2. Prepare the hearing room.

  • Ensure the hearing is conducted in a quiet and private space. The hearing room should meet the specifications set out in the Department’s Mental Health Tribunal Room guidance.
  • Ensure the hearing room is covid safe. The Department of Health recommends workplaces practise physical distancing of 1.5m.
  • The safety of all participants is of utmost importance. The hearing room must be arranged in a way that is safe for all attendees.
  • IT and AV equipment: The hearing room should have a separate camera and microphone to detect multiple people in the room. Participants attending by Teams (including Tribunal members) should be visible to attendees in the hearing room on a big screen.
  • The Tribunal member/s in attendance will need access to a secure internet connection/Wi-Fi in order to conduct the hearing. They will also need access to a power point to connect their laptop.

3. Ensure a contact officer is onsite to help the member attending in-person.

A contact officer with knowledge of the equipment and technology must be onsite to help coordinate the hearing/s. This includes: 

  • Setting up the hearing room and arranging seating.
  • Ensuring the camera and microphone are placed so all participants can be
  • clearly seen and heard.
  • Coordinating all attendees on the day.
  • Managing relevant IT equipment in the room and connecting to the hearing link on Teams.

Registry will support the Members via a Teams chat.

Hybrid hearings are not always seamless.

They may at times require a little patience. The aim is to conduct them as best as possible in the circumstances for the benefit of