Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Inside the Guy Earle BCHRT Hearing Room
[UPDATE: Watch complete video tour of BCHRT facilities]
Cameras aren't allowed in the hearing room, so I drew this basic map to show what it looks like:
It's relatively small, about 10 metres by 10 metres, basically a re-purposed office boardroom. What's very odd is the placement of the observers' gallery, on the opposite side of the room from the door. Visitors arriving and leaving must walk behind the respondents, witness and complainants table while the hearing is underway. It's awkward and distracting, especially for the witness, who has people brushing by behind them while they're testifying. Seriously!
If the layout designer of this room was trying to achieve maximum inconvenience for everyone except the Tribunal chair, they succeeded. Why not put the gallery chairs by the door so visitors can enter and leave the room discreetly, without disturbing the hearing in progress?