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In Unjust by Design, I (Ellis) expressed the hope that the book would provoke a serious discussion not only about the book but about the structures and quality of the administrative justice system generally and I invited readers to an interactive  discussion at – this is that website. You are in the site, and I hope that you will decide to join in the conversation.

Structuring the conversation

On this blog, the conversations will be structured in the form of postings, comments on postings and comments on those comments.  At the outset, posted “articles” will be written mainly by me and will at first be designed to focus the discussion principally on the issues presented in the book.

Invitation to Post Articles

However, I invite anyone who would like to initiate a discussion on an issue in the book, or on a different issue by writing a new post, to send me a message through the contact page (anonymously if you want – see below) identifying the issue and your views on it, and I will convert those messages into new posts on this blog. with or without attribution.

Alternatively, you might just send me an email message at my personal email address.

You will find that my first postings here are in the category of Unjust by Design Postscripts  – things that in an ideal world should have been in the book but for lack of space or mere inattention, were not.

The first post in the latter category explains who the late Nick McCombie was and why I dedicated the book to him; the second is about Peter Showler’s great book, Refugee Sandwich, which I should have mentioned in the book, but didn’t, and the third is an explanation for my talking in the book about a Canadian Administrative Justice system as if there were only one.

Participating Anonymously

In the book, I promised that to facilitate a free and frank discussion the website would be structured to allow participants to participate anonymously.  For those of you interested in participating anonymously go to the commenting anonymously page.

What’s Happening?   Sharing the information

I am hopeful that this website might serve as something of a clearing house for information that pertains to the design, administration or operation of administrative judicial tribunals in any of Canada’s various administrative justice systems.  I, therefore, invite anyone who comes upon such information, to consider sharing it with the visitors to this site.

What Information

I am not looking for standard of review jurisprudence.  What I have in mind are: especially interesting conference papers; journal articles; books; press clippings; new legislation or regulations; policy guidelines; practice directions; meaningful events, such as relevant litigation, court or tribunal decisions of general interest, major appointments (contentious dismissals); and announcements of relevant conferences, workshops, programs,  etc.

Mr. Justice LeBel’s speech to the CLEBC conference which was noted on this site on March 7 as a “Featured News” post is an example of the kind of thing that is inherently interesting to anyone concerned with the administrative justice system but inherently hard to find unless one knows it’s there.

How to do it

If you email me using the message form on the contact page, I will contact you to discuss whether and how the information in question might be presented on this site, and with what attribution, etc.



Ontario’s WSIB and the Bill 127 Amendments – The power implants – Why are they needed? Part I

THE WSIB POWER IMPLANTS INTRODUCTION Schedule 33 of Bill 127,  the “Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017”, will amend the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act in a number of ways, many of them apparently positive from an injured worker’s perspective – the addition of chronic mental stress benefits, increases in various minimum amounts, View Post

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Unjust by Design – still out there …

In the March 2017 issue of the Canadian Journal of Administrative Law & Practice (vol. 30, pp 119-144) one will find an article written by Andrew Taillon (of the Nova Scotia Department of Justice) entitled: “To the Rescue: The Grievance Arbitration Model as a Solution to Canada’s Unjust by Design Administrative Justice System Problem”. That View Post

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INTRODUCTION The author’s March 10, 2017, post in this website described the highlights and implications of the Court of Appeal decision in Castrillo, the Fink & Bornstein class action against Ontario’s WSIB. The class action claims that the Board was guilty of misfeasance in public office when, from circa January 2012 to November 2014, it View Post

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WSIB and the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in the Castrillo Class Action

INTRODUCTION It seems likely that visitors to this site will have heard about, or, indeed, have read, the Court of Appeal’s February 13, 2017, decision in Fink & Bornstein’s class action against the WSIB  – Pietro Castrillo v. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (Mr. Castrillo being the representative plaintiff) . It may be found at this View Post

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Workers’ Compensation Chronic Stress Benefits Remain in Limbo as Ontario Ombudsman Refuses to Investigate

THE PETITION On November 7, 2016, three Toronto workers’ compensation legal clinics (IWC, IAVGO, WHSLC), workers’ compensation lawyer, Gary Newhouse, and this author, formally petitioned the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate the WSIB’s  systemic denial of chronic mental stress injury claims. The grounds for this petition was the WSIB’s persistence in continuing to apply statutory prohibitions of View Post

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Tribunal Adjudication, Post # 2 – oral hearings important mostly because of the additional information they provide

The UCL empirical study of tribunal adjudication referred to in the previous post which shows that disability claims are 2.5 times more likely to be successful if the tribunal’s decision follows an oral hearing, also examined why that might be so. And, contrary to what one suspects some program administrators are prone to think, the View Post

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Tribunal Adjudication – The overwhelming importance of Oral hearings

TRIBUNAL DECISION-MAKING THE INFLUENCE OF ORAL HEARINGS ON OUTCOMES AN EMPIRICAL STUDY What would happen if one could take the exact same claim for a statutory benefit and have it adjudicated multiple times by a large number of different appeals tribunal adjudicative panels, some of whom are asked to decide the case on the basis View Post

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Adjudicative Tribunals – Unconscionable Delays in Appointments – Ontario Auditor General Reports

You may have heard that the Ontario’s Auditor General has reported at length on disastrous delays in OIC appointments to tribunals, boards and agencies – another indicator on a long list of indicators of this government’s disrespect and neglect of adjudicative tribunals and their members. It is a detailed report but conveniently its substantive content View Post

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Dissembling Statistics in Workers’ Compensation Systems

INTRODUCTION “dissemble” – to give a false or misleading appearance. The concept of “dissembling statistics” is conveniently illustrated in Chapter Three of Charles Wheelan’s 2012, New York Times best-selling book, “Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data”, where the author cites the classic example of the George W. Bush administration’s claim that 92,000,000 Americans View Post

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Employment Insurance – administrative justice gone awry again

For an account of what has gone wrong with the Harper government’s plan for adjudicating employment insurance claims, see: RE (52)

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