Giving More than is Asked

Just as Discipline Committees should accept a joint submission unless it would bring the administration of justice into disrepute, so they should not impose a sanction well beyond what the prosecutor has sought unless first seeking further input. In Becker v. College of Pharmacists of Manitoba, 2016 MBQB 105, a pharmacist was found to have engaged in unskilled practice. While there was agreement on many aspects of the sanction, there was disagreement as to how long the pharmacist should practice under supervision and for how long he should not be permitted to be a pharmacy manager. The Discipline Committee imposed a period for both restrictions that fell between what the prosecutor sought and what the defence requested. On an internal appeal to the Council of the College, the Council, without warning, imposed significantly longer periods for both restrictions, well beyond what the prosecutor had originally requested. The Court held that before there could be a significant departure from what was requested, the tribunal should have given notice of its concerns and allowed the parties to make submissions. There have been a number of previous cases saying similar things over the years and tribunals should be reminded regularly of this expectation.

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