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 four (4) panel members, the Student, with counsel if applicable, a divisional representative who may have counsel, and the ADFG Secretary or designate.

The duration of each Non-Academic Discipline Appeal hearing varies as each case is unique. The ADFG Office suggests that hearing attendees reserve at least three (3) hours in their calendar. The ADFG Office asks that attendees bring their calendars to the hearing to facilitate scheduling if another day is needed.

Opening Remarks 

  • The Chair will make introductory remarks and will introduce themselves and the other panel members.
  • The Divisional Representative or their counsel will introduce him or herself and any individuals that he or she has brought with them. 
  • You or your counsel will introduce yourselves and individuals you have brought.

Hearing of the Appeal

  • Except in exceptional circumstances, an appeal is argued on the basis of the evidence and record of the initial hearing.  In exceptional circumstances and with the permission of the Discipline Appeals Board, new evidence may be submitted.
  • You (the appellant) then explain what you are seeking (shorter suspension, shorter notation, etc.). You will need to provide a legal and factual basis for what you are seeking. 
  • The Division and/or its representative then responds.  They may challenge the legal and/or factual basis that you have put forth, and will also argue why your appeal should be denied. 
  • You then have a brief opportunity to respond to new issues that have come up in the responding arguments which were not evident at the time of your initial argument. 
  • Panel members may ask questions of any of the parties arguing.

Panel Retires to Deliberate in camera (in closed session) 

  • The panel will end the hearing and will deliberate (in camera - in private; between panel members only) to determine the appropriate outcome.

Decision and Reasons 

  • In circumstances where the reasons for decision are not provided at the time of the hearing, you can normally expect written reasons to be delivered within 90 days from the hearing, although the reasons may be issued sooner or in rare occasions may take longer. The ADFG Office will distribute the finalized decision to you or your representative and the Division once it has been received.

The Panel

Panels are composed of four (4) people, the Senior Chair or an Associate Chair, who is legally qualified, and three members of the Discipline Appeals Board. One member shall be a faculty member and two members of the panel shall be student members. Panel members are neutral and will not have sat on the Student’s case previously and will have no prior knowledge of the student’s situation when chosen to hear the appeal. Once selected, they will be given details about the Student’s case. The appeal materials filed by both parties will be provided to the panel members in advance of the hearing. The Chair is responsible for answering any questions of law and writing the final decision of the panel, which the other panel members will review and approve.

Normally the following individuals will also be at the hearing:

Representative from the Division

A representative from the Division to which the Student belongs. This may be a Dean’s Designate or other Divisional Representative.

Division’s legal counsel

The Division’s legal counsel is hired by the University to prosecute the Student’s case and represents the interests of the University at the hearing.


The Secretary for the hearing is the Director of the Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances (ADFG) or his or her designate. The Secretary is neutral and his or her role is to record the hearing and answer procedural questions. He or she does not have a speaking role at the hearing.

The Student

The Student may choose to attend the hearing or not, with or without counsel.
NOTE: A hearing may proceed in a student’s absence.


Observers sometimes attend hearings and this may include, for example:

  • The Student’s family and/or friend(s)
  • A member of the Discipline Appeals Board who is not a panel member for that particular hearing
  • Articling Students invited by the Division's legal counsel
  • Other individuals from Downtown Legal Services (DLS)
  • A University employee connected to the case