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Practice Direction on Adjournments

The Tribunal is committed to the just and expeditious determination of discipline proceedings. This Practice Direction provides guidance to parties when requesting an adjournment. It is not a rule within the meaning of the Rules of Procedure and does not replace the provisions respecting adjournments provided for in rule 10.1.1.

Strict Adjournment Policy

The Tribunal is committed to using hearing and pre-hearing time efficiently and to avoiding the cost and wasted resources caused by unnecessary adjournments. Requests for adjournments, particularly at the last minute, are a significant impediment to fair and timely protection of the public and access to justice.

Once hearing dates are scheduled, which is normally done on consent, parties are expected to be ready to proceed on those dates. Adjournment requests are discouraged except where necessary, especially on short notice before a scheduled hearing date. The timing of an adjournment request will be a factor to be considered.

Requests for Adjournments

The request for an adjournment must be made in writing as soon as the need for it arises, unless making a written request is impossible. The request must explain why the adjournment is necessary, identify the exceptional circumstances supporting the request and where possible, obtain the other party’s position and availability for alternate hearing dates or explain why it was impossible to obtain that information from the other party. The request must be copied to all parties and filed with the Tribunal Office.

The parties’ agreement to adjourn will be a factor in deciding the request but the Tribunal must also consider broader institutional and public interests. These include the need for timely determination of the merits of the proceeding, as well as procedural fairness. It is the Tribunal, and not the parties or their counsel, that decides whether to adjourn and, if so, on what terms.

The Tribunal’s decision and reasons granting or refusing an adjournment are often issued in writing. See for example:

  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario v. Fagbemigun2021 ONPSDT 42
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario v. McInnis2022 ONPSDT 28
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario v. Kadri2022 ONPSDT 17

The Tribunal may award costs against a party that is granted an adjournment within 14 days of the date on which the merits hearing was scheduled to begin. See rule 17.2.1.

Revised: May 15, 2024