Unjust by design, Canada’s Administrative Justice Gets no Respect

In UBD, at page 133, the following appears:

With its political patronage and at-pleasure appointments; with its seconding of dependent government employees to “independent” tribunals; with its policy of short, fixed-term appointments, arbitrary reappointments, and, especially, idiosyncratic removals; with the exposure of tribunal chairs
and members to discharge for alleged cause without procedural protection; and with the conflicted structural integration of tribunals with executive branch structures, Canada cannot even begin to pretend that the rights and obligations of its citizens are determined by tribunals that meet the international standard of independence and impartiality. Canada’s justice ambassadors,
trumpeting its judicial justice system to the world as the
embodiment of all that is good from a rule-of-law perspective, dare not mention this country’s system of administrative justice.

The “dare not mention” part of that paragraph has arguably received some support in  “The Adjudicator Has No Clothes” review of UBD by Voy T. Stelmaszynski published in the OBA Public Sector Lawyers July 2013 Newsletter about which I have posted previously (in the Unjust by Design Page).

See the following paragraph from that review. Voy is a Ontario Labour Relations Board Solicitor.

In my life, when representatives from foreign countries (management and union personnel, government officials) visit the Ontario Labour Relations Board to learn about our structure and processes, one of the hardest points to explain is what I call the convention that administrative tribunals, an extension of the executive branch of government, operate at arm’s length from that government, and indeed rule on issues in dispute where that very government is sometimes a party appearing before the Board. My explication comes across as a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” apology for what, to my audience, is a fictional divide. …




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