COMPLAINTS

Procedure for hearing

Procedure for conducting the hearing
(1)The Secretary shall serve a hearing notice together with a copy of the complaint on each party to the proceedings.
(2)A hearing notice shall be in the form set out in the Schedule and shall require the persons to whom it is addressed to furnish the Secretary with one copy of each of the documents that he or she wishes to produce at the hearing at least fourteen(14) days before the date fixed for hearing
(3)Personal service shall be effected by tendering a copy of the complaint to the party in person, and where personal service cannot be rendered, service shall be by registered post, substituted service or any other mode the Commission may prescribe.
(4)A period of not than twenty one (21) days shall lapse between the service of the notice and the day set out for the hearing of the complaint.
(5)A hearing of a complaint by the panel shall be in camera unless otherwise decided by the panel.
(6)The judge whose conduct is subject of the investigation shall reserve a right to be present during all of the proceedings that relate to them and shall be entitled to legal representation by counsel.
(7)A witness shall give testimony on oath and may be asked questions by the panel to seek any further clarifications of the complaint.
(8)The panel shall hear the Judge and ask questions or clarifications to the Judge. 
(9)The panel may, on the application of any party to the complaint or on its own motion, adjourn the hearing of any complaint upon such terms and conditions, as it may deem fit.
(10)The panel may accept evidence by affidavit at the hearing, if it considers that the Judge shall not be prejudiced by the absence from the hearing of the person who has given evidence by affidavit.
(11)Where the panel has accepted evidence by affidavit, it may, if it is satisfied that it is in the interest of justice, require the person making the affidavit to appear before the panel for clarification or inquiries at such place and time as the panel may direct.
(12)The panel may request any person other than the parties or their witnesses to attend before it and give evidence that may be of assistance to the panel while considering a complaint.
(13)The panel, where necessary, may re-call a judge or complainant, if it considers that the evidence adduced by the complainant requires the judge to reply.
(14)If any of the parties to the proceedings fails to appear on the hearing day, the panel may upon proof of service of the hearing notice proceed to hear and determine the complaint.
(15)Where the complaint has been determined by the panel in the absence of either party to the proceedings, the party or both parties who failed to appear may apply to the Commission for the re-hearing of the complaint. If the panel is satisfied that the hearing notice was not duly served or that the party who failed to appear at the hearing was prevented from appearing by a reasonable cause, it may order for the re-hearing of the complaint.
(16)Record of proceedings:The Chairperson shall cause to be taken notes of all proceedings before the panel or may direct that the record of any proceedings before the panel be taken by shorthand notes or tape-recorded or, at the discretion of the panel, electronically recorded.
(17)The Panel, having heard the complaint, shall forward its recommendation thereon to the Commission together with the record of the charges framed, the evidence led, the response and other proceedings relevant to the investigation. The majority decision shall be adopted. The recommendation shall be forwarded to the Commission within 7 days of the conclusion of the hearing.

The following shall be contained in its recommendation;
a)A statement whether in the Panel’s opinion the complaint against the judge have been proved and the reasons thereof.
b)Details of any matters which, in the Panel’s opinion, aggravate or alleviate the gravity of the case; and
c)A summing up and such general comments as will indicate clearly the opinion of the Panel on the matter being investigated, but the Panel shall not make any recommendation regarding the form of punishment to be inflicted on the judge.

Commission decision on a complaint

The Commission , upon receipt of the recommendations may either;
a.Reject the decision and give further directions on the complaint or
b.Ratify the recommendations.

Where the Commission opts to ratify the recommendations, the Commission may pronounce its decision immediately or within a period not exceeding 21 days from the decision being reached by the Commission.
The Secretary shall supply a copy of the decision of the Commission to all parties to the proceedings.

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