The charges which are being pursued by your regulator should be notified to you when you are informed about the date and time of the hearing. There may have been previous versions of the charges, but those contained in the hearing notice are the ones which the panel will be considering.
At any point before the panel starts is deliberations on the facts, an application can be made to amend the charges.
The regulator may wish to correct something, for example typographical errors, or where a date is incorrect.
In certain circumstances the the registrant might want to apply to have the charges amended, for example where:
- the wording is unclear
- it is not obvious what the charges mean
- there are duplicate charges
- the charges do not appear to follow the regulator’s own guidelines on drafting charges
- a charge does not properly set out whether ‘intention’ or recklessness is being alleged
- the charges are overly detailed or imprecise
The panel itself may also invite an amendment to the charges if it feels that something does not make sense or will affect the fairness of proceedings.
Before considering an application for charges to be amended, the panel will hear submissions from both parties and receive legal advice from the legal assessor. One of the prime considerations will be whether or not amending the charges would be unfair, either to the registrant or to the regulator. A further consideration will be whether it is in the interests of justice for the charges to be amended.