What Happens at an Academic Discipline Hearing?

Discipline 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.

Each hearing proceeds differently and at the discretion of the Chair. Below is general information about what you can usually expect to happen at a hearing.

Opening Remarks:

• The Chair of the Panel will make introductory remarks and will introduce him or herself and the other panel members.

Discipline Counsel will introduce him or herself and introduce any advisors or observers that they have brought with them.

• You and your representatives will introduce yourselves.

Opening Statements:

• Discipline Counsel will usually make an opening statement. You or your representative may also choose to make an opening statement at the outset. If you are not represented by legal counsel, the Chair will guide you through the hearing process.

• Discipline Counsel or you can raise any preliminary issues, which will be addressed by the panel. These may include adjournment requests (e.g. to postpone the hearing), exclusion of witnesses (e.g. not include certain witnesses during certain parts of the hearing), evidentiary issues (e.g. not allow or give weight to evidence) or other motions.

If you are not in attendance:

• The panel will determine whether to proceed in your absence. Where you have been provided with adequate notice of the hearing, the hearing will usually proceed.


If you are unable to attend your hearing in person, it is possible to attend via Skype, as per the Rules of Practice and Procedure, but you must make a request. If the Chair approves the request, the ADFG office will be in touch with you to arrange a Skype test that must be conducted 3-4 days before the hearing. Normally, you must also submit any documentation you wish to rely on during the hearing to the ADFG office one week in advance of the hearing, to afford ample time for preparation.


• Discipline Counsel will present
evidence on behalf of the Provost, which may be in the form of documentation or oral testimony, which Discipline Counsel says establishes the offence. You or your representative may cross-examine any of Discipline Counsel's witnesses.

• 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.

• You then have the opportunity to provide documentary or oral evidence. Discipline Counsel may cross-examine any of your witnesses.

• The Panel may ask questions of either side or of the witnesses during the presentation of evidence.

Submissions on Finding (Guilt or Non-Guilt):

• After all of the evidence has been heard, Discipline Counsel will make submissions to the Panel summarizing the relevant facts and law to support the Provost's request for a finding by the Panel that you have committed the alleged offence(s). You will then respond with your submissions in support of the finding you wish the Panel to make on the issue. Discipline Counsel will then have an opportunity to make Reply Submissions.

Panel Deliberates with Respect to Guilt:

• Following the presentation of evidence and argument, the Panel deliberates in camera (privately, between the panel members only) on whether or not the evidence establishes that you are guilty or not guilty. The Panel may issue its decision verbally to those in attendance at the hearing, with written reasons to follow, or it may reserve its decision and issue it at a later date.

Submissions on Sanction (Penalty):

• If a determination of guilt is made at the hearing, the Panel will then move to consider the appropriate sanction.

• Either Discipline Counsel and/or you or your representative may choose to call evidence with respect to the issue of sanction, although neither is required to do so.

• Discipline Counsel and then you or your representative will make submissions regarding the appropriate sanction.

Panel Deliberates with Respect to Sanction (Penalty):

• The Panel again deliberates in camera in order to determine whether it can immediately determine the appropriate sanction, and if it can, what is that sanction.

• If a sanction is determined at the time of hearing, it will be announced, and it may be incorporated in a signed Order. In such cases, the sanction(s) will be immediately implemented, unless directed otherwise, and even if the Student is not in attendance. The period for appeal is immediately triggered in these situations.

• Please click here for a list of sanctions available to the panel.

Reasons for Decision and Sanction:

• The Panel may provide reasons for its decision on the commission of the offence and/or penalty at the time of the hearing, or it may decide to provide written reasons at a later date. Once the deliberation has been completed, it generally indicates that the hearing is over. The Chair will inform everyone when the hearing has concluded.