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Hearings in Uncontested Cases

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Please be aware of some things you should consider doing in order to prepare for an uncontested hearing. Remember, every person's hearing is unique to his/her personal circumstances. Please use what information is useful to you and appropriate to your situation, and disregard the rest. 

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  •  Last updated: April 2005

Guide to the Penalty Code and to Judicial Sanctions

Beginning The Hearing

A hearing in an uncontested case can last from 15–45 minutes to several hours, and will most likely be held in a second-floor conference room at Stanford’s Tresidder Memorial Union.

There will be four students, one faculty, and one staff person on the Judicial Panel. (Although there are always four students, in an Honor Code case there could be two faculty members and no staff; while in a Fundamental Standard case there could be two staff members and no faculty).

Hearings have the appearance or feel of a meeting or conference, not a courtroom proceeding. The setting is designed to make all participants feel as comfortable as possible, under the circumstances. The panelists will sit on one side of the table. You, the reporting party, and the Judicial Officer will sit on the other side of the table. (The Judicial Officer will be seated between you and the reporting party). The Judicial Advisor will be at the end of the table. Hearings are audio-tape-recorded to preserve a record of the proceedings, and you are entitled to receive a copy of the audiocassette tapes. (Hearings are not transcribed.)

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Bias Checks

You will have an opportunity to see all of the panelists and inform the Judicial Advisor if you recognize anyone and have a concern that there is a possible bias (grounds for excusing that panelist, pursuant to applicable bias check practices and procedures). In such event, you and the Judicial Advisor will step out of the hearing room briefly so that you can discuss it; it is the Judicial Advisor's responsibility to then decide, in her sole discretion, if there are persuasive grounds for excusing that individual for possible bias. Once you have acknowledged the panel is acceptable, the chair (always one of the four students) will begin the hearing with a reminder about the nature of the proceedings, including their confidentiality.

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Presenting the Evidence

The chair will go through the following steps:

  • The panel will ask any questions they might have after reading all of the documents. Those questions could be for you, the reporting party or the Judicial Officer.
  • After their questions the panel will give the reporting party, the Judicial Officer and you the opportunity to add any additional information about the facts of the case.
  • Potential witnesses would be called at this point. Please discuss potential witnesses with the Judicial Advisor and Judicial Officer in advance.
  • Once the evidentiary portion of the hearing is concluded, the Judicial Advisor will outline sanction precedence and you will have an opportunity to speak to the panel about the impact sanctions will have on you.
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Discussion of Sanctions

After your Judicial Panel has finished asking you questions about the impact of potential sanctions, it will ask the reporting party if he/she has further comments. It will also ask the Judicial Officer if there are mitigating and/or aggravating factors in the case that have not yet been presented. And finally, the Panel will ask you for final comments. This will be your last opportunity to speak to the panelists about anything else relevant to your case that has not been presented before. In an uncontested case, you have probably already submitted a sanction statement.

Writing a Sanction Statement

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Sanction Deliberations

The panel will then adjourn to deliberate in closed-door session, and you, the reporting party, and the Judicial Officer will again be excused.

Sanction deliberations usually last between 15–45 minutes, but some have lasted for several hours. You, the reporting party, and the Judicial Officer will be invited to return to hear the decision, although neither your attendance nor that of the reporting party is mandatory. If you and/or the reporting party choose to leave once deliberations have begun, the Judicial Advisor will notify you and him/her of the outcome via email immediately after the hearing is concluded.

Please note that Judicial Panel deliberations are confidential; thus, the Judicial Advisor (who sits in and is available to answer process or procedure-related questions the panelists might have) will not be able to provide information other than what is contained in the Hearing Report.

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Post-Hearing Sanction Review

The Student Judicial Charter mandates that the Dean of Student Life must review all sanctions for consistency with the Student Conduct Penalty Code and past practice. The Dean may ask a Judicial Panel to reconsider all or a portion of a decision, but cannot overturn it. Reconsidered decisions are final and not subject to further review. The only penalty that can be revised or overturned by a Stanford administrator is expulsion, which is a recommendation that must be reviewed by the provost. The provost also can reduce the sanction or uphold the panel’s recommendation.