This current blog was opened in February 2019, and contains all materials and comments posted since that date. In the “blog, archived”, visitors will find all Ellis’s posts between February 28, 2013 and November 27, 2017, the latter date marking the beginning of a 15-month lapse in Ellis’s attention to this site – a lapse for which he apologizes.
If you want to look for a specific topic, you can select a category from the sidebar or use the search function to explore topics in-depth. The search function will search in both the current blog and the archived blog, as well as across all pages in the site.
Tribunal Watch Ontario’s current, very troubling report featuring the HRTO.
Here is an important article by Voy Stelmaszynski, recipient of the 2017 Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers on administrative justice in Ontario
Chief Justice Roy McMurtry’s views on tribunal indendence in November 1997.
Following up on the Epiphany article, the author presents the legal argument in support of the need for an independent, appointments-renewal body.
The writer reports on an epiphany in his understanding of the basis for the constutional protection of the independence of tribunals.
Ontario’s judicial tribunal appointment and reappointment policies destroy independence and impartiality and guarantee less than optimal expertise and competence
Democracy Watch has filed an action in the Ontario Superior Court challenging the lawfulness of Ontario’s tribunal appointment and reappointment policies
In a recent Lawyer’s Daily article by John Schofield, reference was made to a U.K/ study that established that oral hearings were 2.5 times more likely to produces a favourable result for claimants than a written hearing.
New Sheriff in Town There is a new sheriff in town – an organization just getting itself up and running called Tribunal Watch Ontario. It has emerged in response to the Ford government’s ferocious and devastating attack on Ontario’s system … Tribunal Watch Ontario Read More »
On the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals website (ccat-ctac.org) one now finds an invitation to tribunals to participate in a Department of Justice pilot project designed to examine how Federal administrative tribunals measure up against a Tribunal Excellence framework that … Now this is really interesting – A Framework of…
Notwithstanding the pandemic, It is still time to speak straight about the Ford Government’s abuse of our justice system beginning with 400 tribunal judges fired without cause.
Looking back on the 2008 UofT Symposium on the Future of Administrative Justice and comparing the hopeful presentations and discussions at that Symposium, as they appear in Lorne Sossin’s detailed Report, with the “Future” as we are now seeing it in Ontario, cannot help but leave one discouraged and angry.
Oral hearings work better not because sad stories undermine an adjudicator’s objectivity but because oral hearings always produce more information.
What is the effect of oral hearings on outcomes? Here is a re-post of a reference to a UK study in which the very same case was heard by multiple tribunal panels, half with the advantage of an oral hearing and half without The study’s conclusion is startling.
In response to a viewer’s question, the author considers the impact of the governments appointment/reappointment policies on a number of issues in light of Vavilov, including the standard of review issue. Reasonableness, he suggests, is not a given.
Since June 2018, the Ford Government has emasculated the tribunals within the Tribunals Ontario structure. Here’s the story.
Reasons to think recourse to one-year or less appointments may be a Ford Government strategy for patronagizing the administrative justice system.
This postscript to the Nov 27, Premonitory Stats post identifies the possibility that the “vacancies” number in the original post may not be reliable – possible need to add an unknown number of “abandoned” positions.
A November 23 study of PAS stats on adjudicative tribunal appointments shows that the government has prepared for a large reduction in the number of adjudicators in Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals
The Ontario AG has announced changes to the appointments process for Provincial Court Judges that are calculated to patronagize the process.
The validity of the Unjust Budgets article has renewed relevance in light of the BC Court of Appeal decision in Walter v. BC
On February 1, 2019, Ellis post a blog alerting readers to the damage the Ford government was doing to Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals. Here is an update.
Administrative Justice Reform A Milestone Moment – 10,000 hits
Are there any rule-of-law limits to the level of funding an executive branch may provide for an adjudicative tribunal? Here is an article on that subject, originally posted on this site on March 15, 2013.
In assessing the dangers to the Ontario administrative Justice system under the Ford government, it is instructive to remember what happened to the system under the Harris government.
Lest there be any misunderstanding, this author’s advocacy for a class action based on claims for damages for breach of contract by adjudicators whose expected reappointments were refused is not principally motivated by a concern for the personal interests … September 18 meeting – Clarification Read More »
It has been put to me that my June 5, 2019 post on the possibility of a breach-of-contract action as a remedy for the government’s refusal of expected reappointments has a potential flaw; that I might not have given sufficient weight to the limitation to the appointees’ contractual rights arising…
Word has it that members of Ontario adjudicative tribunals whose expected reappointments have been refused, plan to meet informally in September with a view to sharing experiences and beginning a discussion of possible options.
Posted here is a memorandum that explores the legal actions that might be brought against the Government of Ontario for its arbitrary refusals to reappoint incumbent, meritorious Members and Vice-Chairs of Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals when those reappointments were rightfully expected … Refused Reappointments Legal Remedies Group Action Read More »
As we watch the Ford government’s attack on the impartiality and competence of Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals, it is time to refresh our understanding of the legal profession’s obligation to defend the justice system.
As we ponder the question of whether the Ford government’s assault on the security of tenure of adjudicators in Ontario’s administrative justice system is constitutionally valid, and await the decision of the BC Court of Appeal in Walter v. BC, a reminder of the constitutional argument would seem to be…
While the Ford government is busy destroying the independence and impartiality of our administrative justice tribunals, it is also wreaking havoc with the legal aid services on which much of the advocacy before those tribunals depend. Now comes news that … Parkdale to close!!! Read More »
In this, the third post on Ford’s administrative-justice policies, the topic is the remedies that would present themselves were it found that, notwithstanding Ocean Port, the unwritten, constitutional principle of judicial independence does apply to adjudicative tribunals – a proposition at issue in current appeal proceedings in Walter v. BC.
In this post, Ellis begins to examine the legal bases for court-challenges of the Ford executive branch’s regressive policies concerning the administration of the Province’s adjudicative tribunals and their members.
After Harris, Ontario’s administrative justice system had become a generally admired system. This post describes the features of that system as it existed pre-Ford; outlines the retrograde policies that have been introduced by the Ford administration; and projects the consequences that will surely follow.