Panel Hearings

Panel hearings

conduct_mainpage

Academic Misconduct Panels
Non-Academic Misconduct Panels
Panel Hearing FAQs
Standard of proof
Panel training

Panel hearings are held if:

  • a student has more than one academic or one non-academic misconduct incident,
  • the incident is determined to be very serious, and/or
  • mutual resolution remains difficult.

Academic and Non-academic Misconduct Panel Hearings are managed by the Office of Student Community Standards. It's the responsibility of the OSCS to ensure anyone involved in a hearing is consistently treated fairly and objectively.

Facts:

  • An OSCS 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 which means that a decision maker must determine what was the most likely thing to have happened, based on all the available information.
  • Hearings are conducted with participants around a table. Participants most often come with conflicting opinions, and the quasi-formal approach is simply a reminder to everyone in the room to hold themselves in a respectful, professional way

Academic Misconduct Panels

Academic Misconduct Review Panel (AMRP):
Each AMRP is comprised of a minimum of three to a maximum of five members, typically including three students and two employees. No panel member can bear any connection to the Complainant or the Respondent. One experienced panel member will act as Chairperson.

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 employees. 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 panel may need to be altered. All changes to a panel composition will be done at the discretion of the Office of Student Community Standards. All participating parties will be advised prior to the commencement of a hearing.

Note: Decisions of the Appeal Panel are final. Non-Academic Misconduct Panels Non-Academic Misconduct Review Panel (NAMRP):
With the exception of matters related to Sexual Violence, each NAMRP is comprised of a minimum of three to a maximum of five members, typically including two students and three employees. One experienced panel member will act as Chairperson. No panel member can bear any connection to the Complainant or the Respondent. Allegations of non-academic misconduct that are managed through MRU's Sexual Violence Response Policy will be heard by one individual decision maker, respecting the commitment to a trauma informed process.

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 is comprised 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.

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

Note: Decisions of the Appeal Panel are final. Panel Hearing FAQs This information is not intended to substitute speaking with OSCS staff. Do not hesitate to contact the OSCS.

  • Contact the OSCS 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 OSCS at least 5 business days before the hearing.
  • The Complainant, Respondent, and Panel will receive a complete package of information that contains the incident report and any documentation the OSCS has received.
  • If you are unable to submit documents to the OSCS within the deadline, they will not be included in the hearing package.
  • Both parties are encouraged to bring a person for support.
  • The OSCS 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 participate in the hearing verbally.
  • 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 talk to them, simply indicate this to the Chairperson. The meeting will not continue until all parties have returned to the table.
  • Yes. You can invite witnesses to participate. The OSCS requires the name, and the person's connection to the case, at least 5 business days before 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.
  • The Chairperson will ask everyone at the table to introduce themselves.
  • The Chairperson 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.
  • 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 SCS office within 5 business days [excluding the day of the hearing].
  • The OSCS, in turn, provides this information in writing to the Complainant and the Respondent.
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 has the right to appeal the Panel decision based on one or more of the following grounds:
  • The 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 OSCS for further information and discussion.

Standard of proof MRU uses a standard of evidence called a "balance of probabilities". Rather than the criminal court's requirement for certainty "beyond a reasonable doubt", a balance of probabilities means that based on all the information provided, decision makers must determine what is the most probable thing to have happened.

Decision makers may not be 100% sure, however this standard of evidence does not require that level of certainty. This is the same standard used in civil court and is based on a deep commitment to natural justice. Anyone who is alleged to have violated the Code of Student Conduct is given the opportunity to know the case against them and to respond to the allegations before any decisions are made.

Panel training One of the established principles of the OSCS 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 Community Standards 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 Community Standards at 403.440.6356 for further information.