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In the recent case of Alsaadi v. Alberta College of Pharmacy, 2021 ABCA 313, the Alberta Court of Appeal considered whether new allegations of unprofessional conduct not specified in a Notice of Hearing can be added and considered during a conduct hearing. In that case, the Complaints Director identified further acts of unprofessional conduct during a conduct hearing that were not specified in the original hearing notice, and made an application to have those allegations adjudicated as part of the same hearing. The hearing tribunal allowed the application, and adjourned the hearing for one month to allow the investigated member time to prepare a defense to the new allegations. On appeal, the Court of Appeal found that “correcting clerical errors or details in the notice of hearing is one thing, but adding entirely new allegations will seldom be appropriate.” Rather, the Court of Appeal suggested that if new misconduct comes to light during a hearing, the proper process in most cases would be to direct a new hearing on those new allegations.
For a more detailed review of this case from our team, please click here.
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It is important that conduct hearings be procedurally fair to all parties. The Notice of Hearing should specify all allegations to be considered at the hearing to allow the investigated member to prepare a defense to those allegations. The hearing should only consider those allegations specified in the Notice of Hearing, and should not consider new allegations raised at the hearing.
When you draft a Notice of Hearing, have you included all allegations of unprofessional conduct to be considered at the hearing?
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