Oct 19, 2020

Disclosing the Names of Panel Members

Gouniavyi v. Yukon (Government of), 2019 YKSC 40 (CanLII)

In Gouniavyi v Yukon (Government of), 2019 YKSC 40, http://canlii.ca/t/j1zzn the discipline finding against a pharmacist was set aside because of a series of procedural errors. The main error resulting in the reversal was a failure to particularize the alleged dispensing errors. The allegation of a pattern of errors was insufficient to alert the pharmacist of the case that had to be met.

One error of interest was characterized as being insufficient to set aside the decision on its own. The Court indicated that the names of the panel members considering the matter should have been disclosed, at least in the final decision and reasons, so that the practitioner could raise any concerns about the existence of an appearance of bias. Disclosure of the names was part of the transparency and accountability of the process. It is unclear whether the disclosure of the names of panel members needs to be given in advance of the decision or whether this principle applies to panels in non-disciplinary matters. Would posting the names of all of the committee members on the regulator’s website suffice? It is also unclear whether there could be exceptions (for example, where there are safety concerns).

A number of other procedural errors were identified including the failure to offer the practitioner an opportunity to make submissions as to penalty.