Discipline and incapacity hearings are highly technical and adversarial proceedings. Hearing committees usually do not have a lawyer in their composition. It is difficult to conduct these hearings and manage competing lawyers in these high stakes hearings. An independent legal counsel (often called ILC) is separate from both the prosecutor and the defence counsel. ILC can assist hearing committees navigate hearings by:
- Training hearing committee members to conduct a hearing;
- Assisting at the pre-hearing conference;
- Providing advice during the hearing itself;
- Researching legal issues that arise; and
- Reviewing and commenting on a committee’s draft reasons.