From time to time a person at an appeal hearing may become sufficiently upset as to cause the panel to have concern about safety. Fortunately, this does not happen often, but when it does it can be distressing. To enhance safety, we strongly recommend the following principles be applied at every hearing where not prevented by the configuration of the hearing room:
- The panel should be seated across the table from the Appellant.
- Preferably the Appellant and the Ministry representative should not be seated beside one another (the same applies, where possible, for waiting areas).
- Ministry representatives should be seated by the door.
The following Seating Diagram illustrates these principles. So as not to cause offence to any party, the seating arrangements should be directed by the Panel Chair in a confident, natural matter of fact manner so as not to emphasize the underlying safety purpose of the arrangements.
Last Updated July 2008