Judicial Affairs Office

Judicial Affairs Office

What does the Judicial Affairs Office do?

The Judicial Affairs Office (JAO) adjudicates matters of category 1 non-academic misconduct. The JAO is composed of the Judicial Affairs Manager (JAM) who oversees Judicial Affairs Deputies and the Judicial Clerk. The JAM receives cases that are referred from the NAM Intake Office (NAMIO), which are assigned to the Deputies and/or investigated by the JAM. Cases that are referred to the JAO are category 1 violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Category 1 violations are less serious violations of the Code; category 2 violations are grievous violations of the Code that are investigated by NAMIO. Category 1 violations typically include but are not limited to matters of trespassing, theft or misappropriation and vandalism. 

Do you wish to become involved with the Judicial Affairs Office? Our office hires at a few points during the year; typically, at the beginning of the fall semester or the end of the winter semester. You can find information regarding openings in the Office on AMS Apply, on the Instagram pages @queens_ams or @amsgovernance, or by emailing the Judicial Affairs Manager ()!

What is the Judicial Committee (JCOMM)?

The Judicial Committee (JCOMM) is composed of up to 6 undergraduate students who adjudicate on formal cases of category 1 non-academic misconduct violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Therefore, JCOMM acts as the judicial branch of the AMS that hears cases handled by the Judicial Affairs Office. The head of the Judicial Committee is the Judicial Committee Chair, who is the main point of contact for Committee members. Those applying for the role of a JCOMM member do not require any previous NAM experience, but we recommend that you do a little bit of research before filling out an application. 

Sanctions Overview

Getting Involved: Positions within the Judicial Affairs Office

  • Judicial Affairs Manager: The Judicial Affairs Manager (JAM) is an assistant management position within the AMS. The JAM oversees the Judicial Affairs Deputies and the Judicial Clerk. They are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Judicial Affairs Office (JAO). The JAM reports to the AMS Secretariat; however, they maintain their autonomy to run the JAO. Moreover, the JAM communicates with NAMIO to delegate referred cases to the Judicial Affairs Deputies. The JAM must be at least in their third year of study and have at least one year of NAM experience.
  • Judicial Affairs Deputy: The role of the Judicial Affairs Deputy is to work cases that are assigned to them by the JAM. They play a crucial role in that they support the JAM to ensure that the JAO continues to run smoothly. In addition to their case management, they can take on an advocacy role. They may focus on an area of interest to them to provide equitable access to safe and reliable resources to students, staff, and the wider community.
  • Judicial Clerk: The role of the Clerk is to manage records, set up meetings, meet with interviewees for various cases, and so much more. They play a pivotal role in the JAO. They are an important support system for the Judicial Affairs Manager and Deputies. If they wish, the Clerk may also take part in the advocacy program that will be restarting in late 2023.
  • Judicial Committee Chair: The Judicial Committee Chair oversees the Judicial Committee members and leads hearings that are brought before the Committee. It is the job of the Chair to ensure that they remain impartial during hearings so the integrity of formal hearings can be properly maintained. Furthermore, the Chair helps to coordinate events such as mock cases throughout their term to help Committee members gain more knowledge about non-academic misconduct. The Chair should have at least one year of NAM experience.
  • Judicial Committee Member: As a member of the Judicial Committee, you will act as a judge and jury for cases of non-academic misconduct that require a formal hearing. This volunteer experience affords members the ability to interpret matters of the Student Code of Conduct. Committee members are expected to adhere to the pillars of NAM during all decision-making efforts.  

What are the Pillars of Non-Academic Misconduct (NAM)?

As outlined in the NAM Policy and Procedures Manual, there are five pillars that the AMS NAM system must adhere to: 

Restorative Justice: Emphasizes the importance of elevating the role of victims and community members through active involvement in the misconduct process, holding Students directly accountable to the people and communities harmed by their conduct, restoring the emotional and material losses of victims, and providing a range of opportunities for dialogue, negotiation, and problem solving, whenever possible. The goal is to achieve a greater sense of community safety and social harmony for all involved and requires the willing joint participation of students and those impacted.

Peer-administered: Upholds the non-adversarial and restorative nature of the NAM system and recognizes the inherent value of peers supporting student development and learning to become positive community members and citizens.

Complaint-driven: The JAO responds to cases referred to its office by, where appropriate, meeting with those impacted and/or harmed by the actions in order to fulsomely understand the complaint.

Non-Adversarial: The AMS Judicial System strives to approach NAM cases in a collaborative way with all participants in order to arrive at resolutions that balance the interests of those involved.

Adherence to the Principles of Procedural Fairness: Respondents have the right to: 

a. be advised, in writing, of the allegations;  

b. have a case heard and decided by an unbiased decision-maker;  

c. formal written notice of any adjudication date;  

d. an advisor, including the assistance of a Support Person or Advisor;  

e. present evidence and arguments in response to an allegation of non-academic misconduct;   

f. be provided with written reasons for the decision(s) made in their case.  

The pillars of NAM as illustrated above can be found beginning on page five of the policy as well. These pillars drive the NAM system, and their application is crucial in the day-to-day operations of the JAO. 

What Policies Fall Under the Offices’ Purview?

The Office handles category 1 violations of the Student Code of Conduct. In cases that require a formal hearing before the Judicial Committee, members interpret the applicable policies to adjudicate the matter at hand. The NAM Policy and Procedures Manual and PIP Policy and Procedures Manual also fall under the purview of the JAO. Both protocols provide comprehensive outlines for practices and sanctioning measures.

What are the Rights of a Respondent?

The AMS NAM system aims to ensure that respondents receive fair and impartial treatment. Before meeting with a representative from the Judicial Affairs Office (JAO), all respondents are required to sign a “Form 1”, which outlines the rights that all respondents possess. Some of those rights are:

  • The right to representation or advice: Respondents may bring any counsel they choose, and are eligible for free consultation with Queen’s Legal Aid (613-533-2102) or advice from the University Ombudsman (613-533-6495).
  • The right to end a meeting with the JAO at any time.
  • The right to refuse to be recorded by the JAO.
  • The right to a translator.
  • The right to the disclosure of evidence to be relied upon by the JAO or JCOMM relevant to the matter: Sensitive information such as the names of witnesses or other parties may be removed from the evidence. Care shall be taken to ensure that evidence will not be disclosed or withheld in a manner which would damage the integrity of the investigation or hearing.
  • The right to a full and open hearing by the Judicial Committee.
  • The right to be notified of a hearing before the Judicial Committee.
  • The right to request that an open hearing be closed to the public: This request will be considered by the Judicial Committee. 
  • The right to choose to waive the right to an open hearing: Respondents may opt to reach a settlement with the JAO instead and the Judicial Committee hearing will be closed.
  • The right to make a statement to the Judicial Committee in a closed hearing.
  • The right to call and examine witnesses, and to present arguments and/or submissions, at the hearing: Respondents may conduct cross-examination of witnesses as is reasonably required for a full and fair disclosure of the facts relevant to the matter before the Judicial Committee.
  • The right to appeal a decision made by the Judicial Committee: Respondents must be informed of all the relevant appeal procedures upon receipt of a Judicial Committee decision.
  • The right to express concern over a member of NAM whose judgement may be biased due to a prior relationship with the respondent and/or complainant: If the respondent or complainant is a friend, classmate, neighbour, housemate, sibling, romantic partner, etc. of a member of the JAO or the Judicial Committee, and the concern expressed is reasonable, the party may be removed from the disciplinary process. 

Statement on our Advocacy Work

As we aim to increase student engagement, we will be striving to connect students with safe, reliable resources pertaining to various areas of importance.The primary initiative that was started in 2022 by Judicial Affairs Manager Kate Burke Pellizzari is called “Resource Friday”. On Friday’s, the Judicial Affairs Manager, Judicial Affairs Deputies, and Judicial Clerk can select resources of interest to them that they also believe will benefit others in their community. While students are engaging with the NAM system, they will be supported and supplied with helpful resources. The aim of the advocacy project is in line with the restorative justice pillar of NAM. However, please note that posted resources cover a wide range of areas, not only those related to NAM.  

Outside of the NAM system, our Office will continue to strive to provide beneficial and educational resources for students. By allowing greater access to on- and off-campus resources, we hope to make students and the wider Kingston community feel supported. Please visit our Instagram or LinkTree to access the resources. 

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