What is the role of the chair?
When hearing cases the Chair will be expected to have read the papers in advance. At the end of the hearing, they are required to provide full reasons in writing for the misconduct hearing panel’s decision.
The key responsibilities include:
- Reading and assimilating misconduct papers before any hearing commences which may include studying complex documented evidence;
- Making and documenting pre-hearing decisions on whether witnesses are permitted to be called to give evidence at the hearing and whether to require notice of the hearing as well as any other legal issues raised before the hearing including whether all or part of the hearing should not be in public;
- Ensuring that the police officer, or special constable (who are not always legally represented) are able to present their case and have it considered fully and fairly;
- Ensuring that hearings are conducted efficiently and effectively in a manner compatible with the interests of natural justice;
- Ensuring the procedure that is followed complies with the Regulations.
- With the other misconduct hearing panel members, deciding the outcomes - for example whether the conduct of the officer concerned amounts to misconduct or gross misconduct (or neither), and imposing any disciplinary sanction as appropriate, or in the case of a finding of no misconduct, to take no further action.