THE CHAIRPERSON’S RESPONSIBILITIES AT A DISCIPLINARY ENQUIRY
The Chairperson at a Disciplinary Enquiry has specific responsibilities and obligations to comply with the procedural rules of an enquiry.
The Chairperson has several responsibilities:
- To ensure that the disciplinary enquiry takes place at a location that is suitable to both parties;
- To ensure that all procedural requirements of a disciplinary hearing are complied with;
- To keep order and impartially conduct the enquiry (e.g. allowing all parties to speak individually and state their case);
- To keep full notes and complete minutes of the entire enquiry (We recommend recording the enquiry on your phone.);
- To maintain order and decorum, pausing the procedure if necessary to allow the parties to collect themselves;
- To ensure that the parties do not deviate from the issue at hand.
The Chairperson must avoid:
- 1. Attempting to influence any of the parties regarding the proceedings;
2. Any form of bias, which may include:
a. Having had any disputes with any of the parties prior to the disciplinary enquiry;
b. Knowledge of the facts of the case before the enquiry;
c. The recommendation of a finding where there are no facts to substantiate such a finding;
d. Denying any reasonable requests made by the parties during the enquiry (e.g. requesting an interpreter or calling witnesses)
3. Making a decision or recommendation on the matter before hearing all the facts of the case.
The Chairperson of a Disciplinary Enquiry bears the most significant responsibility of all of the parties as they must ensure procedural compliance so that the proceedings cannot be questioned in the future.
We attach hereto a Chairperson’s Check List for your use in the future.