The public nature of debates is the general rule that applies to tribunals. This rule is enshrined in section 23 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms:
Every person has a right to a full and equal, public and fair hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, for the determination of his rights and obligations or of the merits of any charge brought against him.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including the order to hold a closed-door hearing and the banning of the publication or release of any information or document.
The Tribunal may, on its own initiative or at the request of a party, order a closed-door hearing in the interest of good morals and public order, as stipulated in section 59 of the Rules of Procedure of the Tribunal administratif des marchés financiers. A closed-door hearing is a hearing that the general public is not allowed to attend.
The Tribunal may also, on its own initiative or at the request of a party, prohibit or restrict the disclosure, publication or release of the information or documents it indicates, if doing so is necessary to preserve public order, as stipulated in section 62 of the Rules of Procedure of the Tribunal.
As a general rule, all applications sent to the Tribunal are public. However, the Tribunal may treat as confidential any application submitted to it, as well as the opening of any new file. It is advisable to contact the Secretariat before filing such an application.
A party that wants its application to be kept confidential from the time it is filed must provide a specific representation to this effect, either within that application or in another request accompanying that application. Grounds must be cited to justify the confidentiality requested.
The Tribunal will then determine whether it is appropriate to authorize the application to be kept confidential from the time it is filed until a hearing is held on the issue or until a specific date. The issue of confidentiality may be discussed, if necessary, at a closed-door hearing, at the end of which the Tribunal will determine the appropriateness of maintaining the confidentiality of the application or file.
Exhibits and other documents
In general, exhibits produced during a hearing are public. However, any party that produces documents, especially exhibits, for the Tribunal may ask that these documents be kept confidential. Grounds must be provided to justify this request. The Tribunal will determine whether access to a document or certain parts of it should be restricted and may issue the orders it deems appropriate.
It should be noted that exhibits filed before the hearing are accessible to the public. If you wish to preserve the confidentiality of an exhibit before it is produced at the hearing, you should informed the Secrétariat and we will preserve the confidentialité pending the decision of the Tribunal.
The rule is for debates to be open to the public; however, any party that submits an application to the Tribunal may request that a closed-door hearing be held or that some testimony be ordered not to be published. Grounds must be provided to justify this request. The Tribunal will determine whether it is appropriate to issue an order for a closed-door hearing and may issue the orders it deems appropriate.
Only the parties heard at a closed-door hearing will be able to obtain a recording of the hearing, in accordance with the orders issued by the Tribunal.
Consultation of tribunal office records
As a rule, tribunal office records are public and anyone may consult them. Some records or documents may be confidential as a result of an order issued by the tribunal to this effect. In this case, only authorized parties will be allowed to access the documents.
It is advisable to contact the Secretariat to make an appointment to consult a tribunal office record.
The Secretariat will inform you whether you need to go to the Tribunal’s premises or whether the document you wish to consult can be sent to you electronically, depending on the size of the document or the number of documents requested.
A person may obtain photocopies of public documents from the Tribunal office for a fee. Copies of the documents requested will only be issued once these fees have been paid.
Recording of hearings
Any person heard by the Tribunal may request a copy of the recording of the hearing, at his/her own expense. If a person has the recording of the hearing transcribed by a stenographer, the person is required to provide a copy of the transcription, at the Tribunal’s request. Certain restrictions may apply to access to a recording in accordance with the orders issued by the Tribunal. A copy of the recording will only be made available once the fees have been paid.
For photocopying and recording reproduction fees, see the Tariff of the Tribunal.