(1) The Tribunal may, at an initial directions hearing or at any other time, require parties to any proceedings to attend a compulsory conference.
(2) The Tribunal must, if so required by the rules or a relevant Act, require parties to attend a compulsory conference.
(3) Despite subsection (2) (and section 4), the Tribunal may dispense with a conference if it is of the opinion that—
(a) no useful purpose would be served by a conference between the parties; or
(b) there is some other reason that justifies dispensing with the conference.
(4) The purpose of a compulsory conference is to identify and clarify the issues in the proceedings and to promote the resolution of the matters by a settlement between the parties.
(5) A compulsory conference may, at the discretion of the member of the Tribunal presiding at the conference, be adjourned or reconvened from time to time.
(6) Unless the member of the Tribunal presiding at the conference directs otherwise, a compulsory conference is to be held in private.
(7) Subject to this section and except to the extent to which the rules may specify the procedure for a compulsory conference, the member of the Tribunal presiding at a compulsory conference may determine the procedure for the conference.
(8) The member of the Tribunal presiding at a compulsory conference may—
(a) if that member is not a Presidential member—refer any question of law to a Presidential member of the Tribunal for determination;
(b) require a party to the proceedings to furnish particulars of his or her case;
(c) determine who, apart from the parties to the proceedings (and their representatives), may be present at the conference;
(d) subject to subsection (11), record any settlement reached at a conference and make any determination or order (including an order under, or for the purposes of, a relevant Act) necessary to give effect to a settlement;
(e) on his or her own initiative, close the conference at any time if, in his or her opinion, settlement cannot be reached;
(f) advise the Tribunal if the conference does not reach a settlement within a reasonable time;
(g) permit a party to withdraw from the proceedings (and make any consequential order that is appropriate in the circumstances);
(h) determine a matter against any party who obstructs or delays the conference, fails to attend the conference, or fails to comply with a rule or order of the Tribunal and, in so doing, make any order as the member of the Tribunal thinks fit (including an order as to costs);
(i) do such other things as the rules of the Tribunal so provide.
(9) If a question of law is referred to a Presidential member of the Tribunal under subsection (8)(a), the Presidential member may refer the question to the Supreme Court for decision by the Full Court of the Supreme Court.
(10) Evidence of anything said or done in the course of a compulsory conference under this section is inadmissible in proceedings before the Tribunal except by consent of all parties to the proceedings.
(11) The member of the Tribunal presiding at a compulsory conference—
(a) must not accept a settlement that appears to be inconsistent with a relevant Act (but he or she may adjourn the proceedings to enable the parties to explore the possibility of varying the settlement to comply with a relevant Act); and
(b) may decline to accept a settlement on the basis that the settlement may materially prejudice any person who was not represented at the conference but who has a direct or material interest in the matter.
(12) If the member of the Tribunal presiding at a conference is unable to continue with the conference, another member of the Tribunal may be appointed to continue and complete the conference.
(13) Unless all parties to the proceedings agree to his or her continued participation, the member of the Tribunal who presided at the conference is disqualified from sitting as a member of the Tribunal for the purpose of hearing and determining the matter.
(14) A registrar is expressly authorised to constitute the Tribunal for the purposes of this section.
(15) The rules may set out circumstances where the outcome of any proceedings under this section (including details of a settlement) are to be available to members of the public.