Objective: This study sought to quantify the time element in each case, with respect to disposition of a matter that came before the discipline committee regardless of whether a guilty or innocent determination was made, or even if the referral to discipline was unwarranted. The time period examined was 1994 to 2001 inclusive.
Summary of background data: In exercising statutory authority, administrative tribunals must clearly understand due process and procedural fairness. Parties to a discipline proceeding each have their respective rights including the right to natural justice and these rights must be weighed fairly, and balanced with respect to societal rights. Delayed proceedings may challenge an individual's Charter rights and may also offend the administrative legal duties imposed by statute.
Results: Twenty-seven (27) files were identified that met the inclusion criteria for this study. The results indicate that the average time to complete a disciplinary process and for a case to be disposed was 19.5 months with a range of 6 months to 45 months. These results cover the eight year period since the RHPA was proclaimed into force. Disposition for the purposes of this study does not include any additional time related to subsequent submissions to penalty imposition.
Conclusions: The regulatory model currently in place in the jurisdiction of the Province of Ontario with respect to the College of Chiropractors as well as the other regulated professions is undergoing a period of review. The original intent of the RHPA was to allow the public equal rights and remedies with respect to dealing with each of the regulated professions. The results of this study draw attention to the length of a statutorily defined process which was designed to protect the public interest. It remains open to the participants in the process to determine the ultimate benefits.This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for free full text.