Tribunals Ontario protocol for disruptions during virtual events and proceedings

(Disponible en fran├žais)

This protocol provides information about how Tribunals Ontario will respond to significant disruptions, sometimes known as 'Zoom bombing', during virtual events and proceedings held by Tribunals Ontario.

Tribunals Ontario is committed to providing a safe and respectful space for parties to participate in virtual proceedings. The health, safety and well-being of staff, adjudicators and participants attending virtual events and proceedings is a top priority.

Tribunals Ontario virtual events and proceedings

Tribunals Ontario conducts most events and proceedings virtually using Zoom. The same formal etiquette and protocol expected of attendees during in-person events or proceedings are expected in virtual events and proceedings.

Most tribunal proceedings are open to the public, except in certain situations. Members of the public (observers) are welcome to attend open proceedings and should contact the tribunal for joining instructions.

Observers are not permitted to disrupt the event or proceeding in any way. They are expected to be courteous and respectful of the proceeding and all participants. To minimize disruptions, observers should remain on mute throughout the event or proceeding.

Tribunals Ontario protocol for managing disruptions during virtual events and proceedings

Should someone cause an unwanted disruption during an event or proceeding, which could include lewd or obscene behavior such as shouting, screaming or making threats, broadcasting sexually explicit sounds, images, or videos, etc., tribunal adjudicators or staff will take immediate action to address and mitigate the disruption to limit any negative impacts on the observers, participants, and the event or proceeding. Tribunals Ontario also has security mechanisms in place to control and report the disruptor. Tribunals Ontario adjudicators or staff will:

  1. Identify the disruptor(s) and disable their audio and/or video.
  2. Issue a warning, and/or remove the individual from the event or proceeding and prohibit them from rejoining.
  3. Where warranted, report the disruption, if perceived as a threat, to the Ontario Public Service Justice Sector Security Office for investigation of the incident. Depending on the disruption, this may lead to further action against the offender.

Disruptions of this kind happen very infrequently, but we take the issue very seriously. Tribunals Ontario apologizes if you experience a disruption during an event or proceeding, and for any negative impacts this has on you. If you experience a disruption that was not managed in accordance with your expectations, you may contact the tribunal to provide information, including the date, time, and details, and we will review.

April 2024
Tribunals Ontario