Panel Hearings

Panel hearings

The primary responsibility of the Office of Student Conduct is to facilitate the formal processes of peer adjudication when allegations of student misconduct occur. This includes convening panel hearings in cases where mutual resolution remains difficult.


Panel training

One of the established principles of the OSC is empowering students by involving them in student judicial processes. As such, our office welcomes and strongly encourages a significant student presence on misconduct panels. Currently, a typical panel of five members will include at least two students.

The Office of Student Conduct provides panel training for students, faculty and staff who are interested in participating as panel members for academic and non-academic misconduct hearings. Panel development workshops will be offered during each major semester, and one-on-one training sessions are offered year-round.

Members of the Mount Royal community interested in training to be a panel member should contact the Office of Student Conduct at 403.440.6356 for further information.

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Academic misconduct panels

Subject to the availability of community participants, the composition of misconduct panels is as follows:

Academic Misconduct Review Panel (AMRP):
Each AMRP comprises five members, typically including three students and two instructors or support staff members. No panel member can bear any connection to the complainant or the respondent. One experienced panel member will act as Chairperson. Only those who have participated in a panel training workshop conducted by the OSC may sit on an AMRP.

Academic Misconduct Appeal Panel (AMAP):
All parties involved have the right to appeal the decision of the review panel to the Academic Misconduct Appeal Panel if the applicable grounds are met. The grounds for appeal are as follows:

  1. The alleged presence of bias in the Review Panel or one of its members
  2. The alleged failure of the Review Panel to comply with the principles of natural justice or procedural fairness
  3. Substantial new evidence unavailable to the Review Panel

Each AMAP comprises five members, typically including two students and two instructors or support staff members, with the role of Chairperson reserved for the Provost and Vice-President, Academic or a designate. No panel member may sit on a review panel and an appeal panel involving the same case. No panel member can bear any connection to the complainant or the respondent.

Occasionally, and only under unusual circumstances, the composition of the aforementioned panels may need to be altered. All changes to a panel composition will be done at the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct.  All participating parties will be advised prior to the commencement of a hearing.

Note: Decisions of the Appeal Panel are final.

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Non-academic misconduct panel

Subject to the availability of community participants, the composition of misconduct panel will be as follows:

Non-Academic Misconduct Review Panel (NAMRP):
Each NAMRP comprises of a minimum of three to a maximum of five members, typically including two students and three instructors or support staff members. No panel member can bear any connection to the complainant or the respondent. One experienced panel member will act as Chairperson. Only those who have participated in a panel training workshop conducted by the OSC may sit on a NAMRP.

Non-Academic Misconduct Appeal Panel (NAMAP):
All parties involved have the right to appeal the decision of the review panel to the Non-Academic Misconduct Appeal Panel if the applicable grounds are met. The grounds for appeal are as follows:

  1. The alleged presence of bias in the Review Panel or one of its members
  2. The alleged failure of the Review Panel to comply with the principles of natural justice or procedural fairness
  3. Substantial new evidence unavailable to the Review Panel

Each NAMAP comprises of a minimum of two to a maximum of four members and the Provost and Vice-President Academic or designate.No panel member may sit on a review panel and an appeal panel involving the same case. No panel member can bear any connection to the complainant or the respondent.

Occasionally, and only under unusual circumstances, the composition of the aforementioned panels may need to be altered. All changes to a panel composition will be done at the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct.  All participating parties will be advised prior to the commencement of a hearing.

Note: Decisions of the Appeal Panel are final.

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Conduct Hearing Information

 

Academic and Non-Academic Misconduct Panel hearings are managed by the Office of Student Conduct [OSC]. It’s the responsibility of the OSC to ensure anyone involved in a hearing is consistently treated fairly and objectively.

Facts:

• An OSC hearing is not a legal proceeding. It is not the same as going to court.

• The Panel decides:

  •     Did misconduct occur?
  •     If so, what is an appropriate sanction?

• The Panel makes a decision based on a balance of probabilities:

  •     Rather than the criminal court's requirement for certainty "beyond a reasonable doubt", balance of probabilities means that a decision maker must determine what was the most likely thing to have happened, based on all the information available.

• Hearings are conducted with participants around a table just as in a meeting but with a slightly more formal process.


                                                               Don’t let that frighten you!


• Participants most often come with conflicting opinions, and the quasi formal approach is simply a reminder to everyone in the room to conduct themselves in a respectful, professional way.

How do I prepare for the hearing?

• Contact the OSC to ask questions and to have procedures explained.
• Students: contact your Students’ Association (SAMRU) for advice and support.
• Staff or faculty members: contact your Supervisor, a colleague or respective MRU Associations (if applicable) for advice and support.
• Submit all documents to the OSC at least 5 business days prior to the hearing.
• The Complainant, Respondent, and Panel will receive a complete package of information that contains the incident report and any documentation the OSC has received.
• If you are unable to submit documents to the OSC within the deadline, they will not be included in the hearing package.

Can I bring someone with me?

• Both parties are encouraged to bring a person for support.
• The OSC requires the person’s name and their connection to you (colleague, friend, SAMRU or MRFA rep etc.) 5 business days prior to the hearing.
• Your support person is there to support you, not to verbally participate in the hearing.
• Feel free to speak quietly with your support person during the hearing, and, if at any time you would like a few minutes to step outside the room to speak with them, simply indicate this to the Chairperson. The meeting will not continue until all parties have returned to the table.

Can I ask someone who witnessed the incident or who has important information about the incident to come?

• Yes. You can invite witnesses to participate. The OSC requires the name, and the person’s connection to the case, at least 5 business days prior to the hearing.
• Your witness will not sit in the hearing room. They will individually be asked to join the meeting to make a statement, and/or to answer questions.
• When finished, they are excused.

 What happens in the actual hearing?

• The Chairperson will ask everyone at the table to introduce themselves.

• The Chair will briefly explain what will take place in the hearing.

• The Complainant will be asked to present their version of events.

• Questions from the Respondent and Panel will follow.

• The Respondent will be asked to present their version of events.

• Questions from the Complainant and Panel will follow.

• Witnesses may be called and questions asked of them by the Complainant, the Respondent, or the Panel. Witnesses will be excused.

• If the Panel is satisfied that they have all of the information they need, the Complainant and Respondent will be excused.

What happens after the hearing?

• The Panel privately discusses all the information that has been presented to them, and collectively makes a decision based on a balance of probabilities.
• This decision is communicated in writing to the OSC within 5 business days [excluding the day of the hearing].
• The OSC in turn provides this information in writing to the Complainant and the Respondent.

What if I don’t like the Panel decision?

It’s important to recognize that although you may not like the outcome, this is not grounds for an appeal. Either the Complainant or the Respondent have the right to appeal the Panel decision based on one or more of the following grounds:

• Alleged bias of the Panel or one of its members, or

• Alleged failure by the Panel to comply with the principles of natural justice or procedural fairness, or

• Substantial new evidence available that was previously unavailable to the Panel.

Should you wish to appeal the decision, please contact the OSC for further information and discussion.

This information is not intended to substitute speaking with OSC staff.
Do NOT hesitate to contact the OSC.

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