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March 19, 2024
The Adjudicative Tribunal Justice System: Statement of Principles (2024)

Introduction The Ontario adjudicative tribunal justice system consists of specialized, expert bodiesthat take the place of the courts in resolving a range of disputes that arise in specificfields of law. Adjudicative tribunals are part of our justice system, and they are differentfrom the many other government boards or agencies that are focused on policies,regulation, investigations, […]

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January 19, 2024
HELP WANTED: Effective leadership at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

The position of Associate Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) is vacant for the fifth time in as many years. Reporting to the Executive Chair of Tribunals Ontario, a cluster of 14 adjudicative tribunals, the Associate Chair is effectively the Chair of the tribunal, with responsibility for the recruitment and training of […]

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October 31, 2023
Oversight of government appointments to tribunals has become a farce

Over the course of a mandate, governments make thousands of appointments to agencies boards and tribunals. In Ontario, the Standing Committee on Government Agencies is mandated to bring some oversight to these appointments by requiring selected intended appointees to appear before the Committee. This system has degenerated to the point that very few appointees appear, […]

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October 07, 2023
Political patronage, Ontario adjudicative tribunal system

The recent controversy about the Ontario government’s revival of the King’s counsel (KC) honorific is a stark reminder that political patronage is alive and well in Ontario. The KC designation was bestowed on Conservative Party contributors, and all current Conservative Party members of the provincial legislature who are lawyers. The honorific was also bestowed on […]

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June 21, 2023
Tribunal Watch Ontario Commentary on McAnsh v Ontario

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, McAnsh v Ontario, 2023 ONSC 3537 has found that governments are free to make decisions about whether an adjudicator appointed to an adjudicative tribunal should be reappointed based entirely on political motives. This disturbing outcome arises from a proposed class proceeding. The putative members of […]

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December 02, 2021
The Independent, Expert, and Competent Tribunal

Tribunal Watch Ontario has produced a Statement of Principles which sets out the values that should guide the development of a modern adjudicative tribunal system. In this paper, which complements the Statement, we elaborate on what must be done to ensure that the adjudicative tribunal system has the necessary independence, expertise, and competence to ensure […]

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October 31, 2021
The Adjudicative Tribunal Justice Council: A Proposal

The need for change Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals resolve many more disputes than the courts. Ontario’s citizens are much more likely to have legal issues before tribunals – about all aspects of their lives – than before the courts. Public confidence in the administration of justice requires that adjudicative tribunals and their adjudicators are independent, impartial, […]

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May 06, 2021
The Adjudicative Tribunal Justice System: Statement of Principles and Commentary

Introduction The Ontario adjudicative tribunal justice system consists of specialized, expert bodies that take the place of the courts in resolving all disputes in narrow fields of law. The advantage of this system is that disputes are resolved by tribunals with expertise in the specific subject matter and law pertinent to those fields. They are […]

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October 20, 2020
Tribunal Watch Ontario Calls for Review of Government’s Tribunal Appointments and Reappointments Processes

Tribunal Watch Ontario is alarmed by the lack of public review and transparency for the Ontario Cabinet’s appointments of adjudicators and senior leaders to Tribunals Ontario (the cluster of 14 tribunals). Strong steps must be taken to enhance public confidence in adjudicative tribunals, including giving more effective powers to the Standing Committee on Government Agencies […]

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June 24, 2020
Update – Recent Appointments of Two Executive Chairs and Creation of new Ontario Land Tribunals

In the past few weeks, the Ontario Government has appointed two Executive Chairs without a transparent or competitive process. Tribunal Watch Ontario advocates for proper appointments and reappointments that will help to ensure adjudicative independence and also promote access-to-justice values such as fairness, expertise and inclusion. It is essential that we avoid any appearance of […]