What are the general procedures for a Pre-Hearing Conference ?

More information on what to expect at/from a Pre-Hearing Conference and Hearing can be found throughout the Frequently Asked Questions and in the Rules of Practice and Procedure section.

Following receipt of a Notice of Appeal or a Referral to Hearing, the Panel’s Office Administrator will contact the parties to arrange a Pre-Hearing Conference. 

A party may also request a Pre-Hearing Conference by calling the Panel’s Office Administrator. If an Adjudicator agrees that it is necessary to have a Pre-Hearing Conference, the Panel’s Office Administrator will take steps to schedule one. 

The Panel’s Office Administrator will try to accommodate the schedules of all of the parties and the presiding Adjudicator. Usually scheduling arrangements are made by email or telephone if necessary and a formal Notice of Pre-Hearing Conference will be sent to the parties. 

If a party fails to show up at a Pre-Hearing Conference, the Adjudicator may make procedural decisions in that party’s absence. 

Most Pre-Hearings take place by the use of telephone conferencing (“teleconference”). The cost of teleconferencing is borne by the Panel. There are no long-distance charges to parties who participate in Pre-Hearing Conferences. 

Parties will receive information from the Panel’s Office Administrator setting out the date, time, telephone number and access code for participants to connect to the teleconference. 

Parties are expected to be on time to avoid missing important procedural advice and direction from the Adjudicator. 

When all of the parties are connected, they will be asked by the Adjudicator to provide their names. The Adjudicator will then proceed to ask questions about the Human Rights Complaint and the parties may ask questions of the Adjudicator, too. 

Pre-Hearing Conferences are intended to be informal and all participants are expected to engage in the discussion. To avoid confusion, of course, the Adjudicator will lead the discussion and call on each of the participants in turn. 

In most cases, Pre-Hearing Conferences are not electronically recorded, unless needed as an accommodation for one of the parties and in the rare exception of when a Pre-Hearing Conference is arranged to allow a party to make an application that requires the calling of evidence and argument. For example, if a party requires the disclosure of documents from a party who refuses to deliver them, an Application or Motion may be heard by teleconference. 

At the conclusion of Pre-Hearing Conferences, the Adjudicator will issue to all of the parties a written summary of what took place, called a Memorandum.