Hearings and Reviews
Public Hearings (ss.143-153)
Both a complainant and a member can request a public hearing in regard to a discipline disposition. Under Part 11, an aggrieved complainant or member may only request a public hearing in regard to a Discipline Authority’s decision following a discipline proceeding. They must do so within 20 business days of receiving the Discipline Authority’s report. Where a member is facing dismissal or a reduction in rank, the Police Complaint Commissioner must arrange either a public hearing, or a review on the record, if requested by the member. In any other circumstance, it is up to the Commissioner to determine if a public hearing will be arranged.
A Commissioner’s decision not to arrange a public hearing makes the discipline disposition final and conclusive. However, the Commissioner may reconsider a decision not to arrange a public hearing if he receives new evidence that is substantial and material to the previous decision not to have a public hearing.
An appeal on a question of law lies to the Court of Appeal. Technical or procedural errors may not be appealed to the Court of Appeal on any ground, unless the error prejudiced a fair determination of the issues at the public hearing.
Review on the Record (s.141)
A review on the record comes into play only if a discipline proceeding has been held. The review is conducted by a retired judge ("adjudicator") who reviews essentially all records related to the investigation and the discipline proceeding. A member is not a compellable witness at the review and the member, the complainant, the Discipline Authority and the Police Complaint Commissioner may all make submissions to the adjudicator, directly or through their agent or counsel. The adjudicator decides whether any misconduct has been proven, determines the appropriate disciplinary or corrective measures to be taken and recommends to a Chief or Board any policy or practice changes the adjudicator considers advisable. The decision of the adjudicator in a review on the record is final and conclusive and is not open to question or review in any court.
If the Police Complaint Commissioner is of the view there is a reasonable basis to believe the Discipline Authority's decision was incorrect, he or she may appoint a retired judge to review the Final Investigation Report and arrive at a decision whether the allegation is substantiated by the evidence. If the finding is substantiated, the retired judge then takes on the role of discipline authority for the continuation of the process. If the retired judge's finding is that the allegation is not substantiated, the matter is final and conclusive.
All adjudicative decisions, deemed final and conclusive pursuant to the Police Act, may still be subject to judicial review.