Investigation Process

You can request an investigation at the time of filing a report. Alternatively, if you initially request mediation, then an investigation can proceed if the matter does not resolve through mediation. An investigation process is conducted pursuant to McGill's Policy against Sexual Violence and its accompanying Procedures.

If you request an investigation and the matter falls within the scope of McGill’s Policy against Sexual Violence, then the OMR will assign your report to a Special Investigator who will conduct the investigation. Typically, an investigation is completed within 90 days.

At the end of the investigation, the Special Investigator will provide a written investigation report to the Provost and the parties that includes the findings of relevant facts and a conclusion as to whether or not the evidence is sufficient to find, on a balance of probabilities, that sexual violence occurred. The Provost will communicate a final decision based on the Special Investigator’s report to the parties. For example, if the Special Investigator concludes that sexual violence occurred, then the Provost will let the parties know that the matter has been referred to the appropriate University disciplinary authority. Any disciplinary proceedings are administered by the appropriate disciplinary officer in accordance with the relevant regulations and/or collective agreement.

In addition to disciplinary measures, or even when there are no disciplinary measures, administrative measures may be imposed to monitor, correct and improve behaviour. Examples of administrative measures include:

  • training
  • counselling
  • education
  • removal or limitation of privileges (e.g., in the case of a faculty member, supervisory privileges)
  • no-contact requirements
  • a requirement of working with a suitable mentor.

Investigation: a step-by-step guide

  1. You file a report of sexual violence and request an investigation.*
  2. The OMR confirms receipt of your report and reviews your report to ensure it falls within the scope of McGill’s Policy against Sexual Violence.
  3. If the report falls within the scope of this Policy, the OMR will assign your report to a Special Investigator to conduct the investigation.
  4. The Special Investigator contacts the respondent to inform them that a report has been filed against them. The respondent is invited to respond to the allegations in writing, which the Special Investigator will share with the reporting party.
  5. The Special Investigator will investigate in any manner necessary to obtain the information required to make the necessary findings of fact. This may include, but is not limited to meeting with and requesting information from the parties and witnesses as well as obtaining any other evidence that may be relevant to the investigation (e.g., documents, copies of correspondence, photos/images).
  6. The Special Investigator will submit a written investigation report to the Provost and the parties, normally within 90 days.
  7. The Provost will communicate a final decision to the parties within 14 days of receiving the Special Investigator’s investigation report.

* If you initially request mediation but the matter does not resolve through mediation, then an investigation can proceed at that point.

Know your rights

The Office for Mediation and Reporting (OMR) seeks to ensure all parties know their rights in an investigation process.

  • An impartial and trauma-informed Special Investigator will conduct the investigation.
  • All parties shall respect the privacy of the other party and maintain the confidentiality of information shared during the process.
  • Retaliation or reprisal against any party or witness may result in disciplinary action.
  • All parties have the right to an advisor. An advisor is defined as a member of McGill who is not paid for their services and who is there to support and guide you through an investigation process. The choice to have an advisor or not is entirely up to you and this would be a person of your choosing. For example, some individuals choose a McGill colleague or a union/association representative.
  • While the details of the investigation must remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process, parties are allowed to share information with people who are acting in a supporting or advisory role to them, provided that they understand and undertake to maintain confidentiality. 

Reporting parties can expect:

  • To be informed that:
    • The Report has been referred to a Special Investigator.
    • You have the right to an advisor.
    • There are support services available.
  • To be able to:
    • Meet with a Special Investigator.
    • Submit evidence, including the names of witnesses, to the Special Investigator.
    • Receive a copy of the investigation report.

Respondents can expect:

  • To receive a copy of the written Report, which should identify:
    • The allegations.
    • What policy you are said to have breached.
  • To be informed that:
    • The Report has been referred to a Special Investigator.
    • You have the right to an advisor.
    • There are support services available.
  • To be able to:
    • Submit a written Response to the Report.
    • Meet with the Special Investigator.
    • Submit evidence, including the names of witnesses, to the Special Investigator.
    • Receive a copy of the investigation report.

For more information, please book a confidential consultation with the OMR. 

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