Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The ADFG Office acts as an informational and educational resource for students, staff and faculty regarding the administration of these processes. The ADFG Office is neutral and does not advocate for a particular side, but rather, ensures that the various processes are followed, and run smoothly and efficiently.  The ADFG Office does not provide substantive or legal advice, but rather, provides information regarding the various processes.
For more information, click here.

If the Provost considers that there is sufficient evidence to support an allegation that an offence has been committed, he or she will formally lay charges (Section C.ii.(a).1 & 2, Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters) .

  • Once charges are formally laid, Discipline Counsel from the law firm of Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP will provide disclosure.
  • The ADFG Office is notified by the Provost that charges have been laid. The ADFG Office provides the accused with a procedural letter in which the rights of the accused are defined and the composition of a hearing panel is described.

Yes. If you are charged with an academic offence, retaining legal representation is strongly encouraged. (See Finding Legal Representation to locate legal assistance).

  • If there is sufficient evidence to support an allegation that an offence has been committed, but the accused does not admit guilt; or
  • The sanction deemed appropriate, relative to the alleged misconduct, exceeds the authority of the Dean as stipulated in section C.II.(a).1 of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters; or
  • The accused has previously been found guilty of an offence; or
  • The accused is simultaneously charged with two or more different offences involving more than one incident.

The Provost may either refer the matter to the Dean, who shall impose sanctions as appropriate under section C.i.(b) of the Code of Behavior on Academic Matters, or forward the matter to the Tribunal where a panel will determine the sanction to be imposed in accordance with section C.ii.(b) of the Code of Behavior on Academic Matters.

The ADFG Office tries to establish a hearing date that is convenient for all parties. The ADFG Office then sends the accused the Notice of Hearing (click here to see a sample Notice of Hearing), in which the following information is provided:

  • Date and time of the hearing (held Monday to Friday, either morning, afternoon or evening)
  • Location of the hearing
  • The names of Tribunal members who will hear the case

*Note: University Tribunal hearings are held 12 months of the year.

The period between the laying of charges to the hearing date varies depending on the availability of the parties, number of witnesses required by the parties, the availability of panel members, etc.

A panel of three people consisting of a legally qualified Chair, one student, and one faculty member adjudicates each hearing at the Trial Division of the University Tribunal. 

  • Discipline Counsel, on behalf of the Provost, will present the University’s case. Discipline Counsel is permitted to call witnesses to testify and substantiate the charges.
  • The accused (or legal representative) and panel members may question the witnesses presented by Discipline Counsel.
  • The accused (or legal representative) then presents their defence against the charges. The accused is also permitted to call witnesses, whom Discipline Counsel and panel members may question.
  • The Panel will hear evidence and decide whether Discipline Counsel has proven the charges.
  • If the Panel makes a finding of guilt, it will then be required to determine an appropriate sanction. Both Discipline Counsel and the accused are permitted to make suggestions regarding sanction.

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Yes, hearings are open to the public in accordance with s.9.(1) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. S.22 as amended. Normally, however, only the individuals who are directly involved in a case will attend the hearing, that is, the three (3) panel members, the accused, with counsel if applicable, Discipline Counsel, with a divisional representative (or representatives), witnesses and the ADFG Secretary or designate.

Click here to see "Who is going to be at the Hearing?".

The burden of proof is on Discipline Counsel who must show on clear and convincing evidence that the accused has committed the alleged offence. The standard of proof is referred to as the "balance of probabilities", which means that Discipline Counsel must prove that it was more likely than not that the accused committed the offence.

Both you and the Provost are given 21 calendar days to appeal after learning of the Panel's sanction or receiving the decision if no sanction is issued at the hearing. Therefore, if an Order is issued, the appeal timeline starts at that point even though reasons for decision have not yet been issued.
For information on the appeals process, please see the Discipline Appeals Board Terms of Reference

Hearings are most often held in Simcoe Hall’s Governing Council Boardroom. Other locations where hearings have been held are: Governing Council Chamber, President's Boardroom in Simcoe Hall, McMurrich Building, Medical Science Building and Sidney Smith Hall. The hearing location is often determined by the availability/unavailability of the Boardroom. All of these buildings are wheelchair accessible.

Hearings usually begin at 9:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m. or at 5:45 p.m. The duration of each Tribunal hearing varies as each case is unique. We suggest that hearing attendees reserve at least six (6) hours in their calendar. Hearings have been known to conclude in as little as three (3) hours but have also been known to take multiple days.  For hearings beginning at 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., we suggest that attendees keep their entire evening free. For this reason we ask that attendees bring their calendars to the hearing to facilitate scheduling if another day is needed.

Please see the Rules of Practice and Procedure for more information regarding Tribunal hearings.

University Tribunal hearings are recorded for the purposes of producing transcripts, should they be required. The ADFG Office keeps the original recordings and facilitates the ordering of transcripts, should the Student or Discipline Counsel make a request. The Student is normally responsible for the costs of the transcript if they order it (section E.6). For example, the Student may wish to order the hearing transcript if they plan to rely on it should they decide to appeal the Tribunal panel’s decision to the Discipline Appeals Board.  See section E.6 of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

Parking will depend on the location of your hearing. For hearings held in Simcoe Hall's Boardroom or in the McMurrich Building, we suggest parking along King's College Circle. For other parking locations, please refer to the University of Toronto Parking and Transportation Services website. *Please note that most parking locations on campus are not free of charge.

Although there is no dress code, attendees usually dress in business casual to business attire.

Tribunal hearings are always catered. During morning hearings (9:45 a.m.), the usual light breakfast consists of juice, coffee, tea, water, breakfast pastries and muffins or bagels. During afternoon hearings (1:45 p.m.), a light snack is provided, usually consisting of juice, pop, coffee, tea, water, pastries and cookies. At evening hearings (5:45 p.m.), more substantial meals are provided, such as assorted sandwiches or vegetarian pasta, salad, coffee, tea and cookies. With enough notice (at least two days), we can accommodate dietary restrictions and requirements.

If you need a disability-related accommodation to participate in this academic discipline process, please review and follow the procedure set out in the Protocol for Requesting Accommodation for Disabilities in the Academic Discipline Process.