The Visitatorial Board is able to hear employment matters (complaints and dismissals) where there is a question of academic freedom to be resolved, though for a first hearing the staff member may elect to instead have the matter heard by an employment review panel. The panel consists of four members selected from a panel of 12 members of Congregation, who must be engaged in teaching or research. The chair must be a person who is not a member of Congregation and is a barrister or solicitor of at least five years' standing or with judicial experience. The role of the chair is essentially to bring legal experience and an external voice to the panel: this includes making appropriate directions in advance of the hearing, deciding on how the hearing shall run and signing off the board’s decision. The chair also has a right to request that the staff member be suspended pending the outcome of the hearing where they deem this appropriate.