Practice Direction on Recording Hearings

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The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the HRTO) has developed the following approach to recording hearings. The procedure outlined below provides general information only. It is not a rule within the meaning of the HRTO's Rules of Procedure. The HRTO may vary the approach to recording hearings where appropriate.

General Practice on Recording

The HRTO does not normally record or transcribe its proceedings, but may record a proceeding at its own discretion.

It has been recognized that transcription and recording of hearings may make proceedings more formal and expensive in administrative tribunals. Recordings may lengthen proceedings if parties ask to replay evidence. Adjudicators often travel and hold hearings in various locations without staff to assist them, so equipment problems may arise and it is impossible to guarantee a quality recording. Therefore, many tribunals including the HRTO do not record or transcribe their proceedings.

Recording as Accommodation for Code-related Needs

The HRTO will record a hearing when it is necessary to accommodate the needs of the panel, a party or a representative under the Human Rights Code. Please contact the Registrar as soon as possible if you require accommodation.

Self-recording and Transcription

If a party wishes to record a hearing to supplement his or her notes, he or she must get the permission of the panel and provide a copy of any recording or transcription to the other parties and the HRTO (on a USB device or CD). Such recordings or transcriptions do not form part of the HRTO's record of proceedings, including the record filed in court in respect of any application for judicial review. The recording or transcription may not be publicized or used for any purpose other than in the proceeding before the Tribunal

Use of a Court Reporter

The HRTO may permit a party to have a court reporter record the hearing at the party's expense, upon request and at its discretion. This practice is discouraged because court reporters may lead to more formality, cause delay and many parties lack the financial resources to obtain a court reporter or order a transcript. When a court reporter is permitted, to ensure that all parties and the tribunal member have the ability to access the transcript, the party that has obtained the court reporter must normally have transcripts produced and provide copies to the Tribunal and the other parties at its own expense. The HRTO may waive this requirement, or make directions about the date the transcript must be produced. The official transcript will normally be considered part of the HRTO's record of proceedings and be included in the record filed in court in respect of any application for judicial review.

Effective as of May 2013