In accordance with the NLPB Policy – Public Attendance at Adjudication Tribunal Hearings
Conduct During an Adjudication Tribunal Hearing
- It is requested that members of the public not speak, whisper or otherwise cause a disruption while the hearing is in session.
- It is requested that no food or beverages be consumed in the hearing room.
- It is requested that there be no use in the hearing room of cameras, tape recorders or other visual, sound or text recording or communicating devices, including without limiting the foregoing portable computers, cell phones, electronic text messaging devices, or dictaphones. It is requested that such devices not be brought into the hearing room at any time. If such a device is brought into the hearing room, the Board reserves the right to request that the device be removed from the hearing room.
- The Board reserves the right of requesting persons attending a hearing to disclose and show the contents of pockets, bags and the like sought to be brought into the hearing room.
- The Board reserves the right to request the limitation of the number of persons in attendance at a public hearing to a number which is consistent with the appropriate functioning and decorum of the hearing.
- The Board reserves the right to request that the adjudication tribunal order that a person be excluded from the hearing room, or for such other order as may be appropriate, if he or she refuses to comply with any guideline or request outlined above, or with any other request made to preserve the functioning and decorum of the hearing.
Closure of Hearings
What does it mean to close a hearing?
If the hearing is entirely closed, no members of the public or media will be permitted access to the hearing room while testimony is given or counsel submissions on the complaint are made.
The adjudication tribunal may be asked, as a preliminary matter, to decide whether even the motion to close the hearing should be closed to the public, because the motion itself may disclose sensitive personal information.
Public notice will be given of an adjudication tribunal’s decision to close a hearing.
In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to close only a portion of a hearing, if the adjudication tribunal is only satisfied that some of the evidence to be heard is of a sensitive personal nature and if it is satisfied that it will be reasonably possible to predict in advance when sensitive evidence is likely to be heard or referred to in the course of the hearing.
Who decides whether a hearing should be closed?
The adjudication tribunal decides whether a hearing, or part thereof, should be closed to the public, applying the statutory test set out in section 41(4) of the Pharmacy Act, which states:
“A hearing shall be conducted in public but an adjudication tribunal may exclude the public from a hearing, or from part of it, where it considers the desirability of protecting a party to the complaint or another person against the consequences of possible disclosure of personal matters outweighs the desirability of holding the hearing in public.”
How does one go about requesting that a hearing be closed?
The Board, or the respondent pharmacist, as parties to the hearing, have standing to bring a motion, to be decided by the adjudication tribunal, to close a hearing . Such a motion may be brought prior to, or after, the commencement of the hearing.
Under what circumstances would such a request usually be made?
In some cases, it may be anticipated that the hearing may involve disclosure of personal matters of a complainant or other person. The Board or respondent pharmacist may then consider whether to bring a motion to close the hearing, bearing in mind that the desirability of protecting a party to the complaint or another person against the consequences of possible disclosure of personal matters by closing the hearing must outweigh the desirability of holding the hearing in public.