Criminal convictions and public employment

Public employees are held to a higher standard than employees in the private sector under the Criminal Code. Subsection 750(1) of the Criminal Code states: (1) Where a person is convicted of an indictable offence for which the person is sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more and holds, at the time that person [Read More]

Criminal convictions and administrative law: what can’t be considered

Tribunals are not permitted to look behind a criminal conviction but a recent decision of the Ontario Divisional Court is a lesson in what adverse inferences a tribunal is NOT permitted to draw from a criminal conviction. A wholesale car dealer was denied an annual license and this decision was appealed to the Licensing Appeals [Read More]

Best Practices for civil trials and relevance for tribunals

The Advocates’ Society has released a best practices guide for civil trials. It suggests that the guide is adaptable to tribunal proceedings as well. Brian Gover, the chair of the Advocates’ Society task force on civil trials, says that although there were differences of opinion on minor points, there was strong agreement among the various [Read More]

The business case for civility in the hearing room, Part 1

A recent federal report develops the business case for civility in the workplace. A summary of that report is available here. And a recent report out of the US has highlighted the health costs of incivility. This led me to thinking about the business case for civility in the hearing room. I find that, generally, there [Read More]

Top Tips for Decision Writers, Part 3

This is the third, and final, post of tips for decision writers, based on a recent presentation I did in Ottawa. 15 After writing, put the decision aside for a few days before doing a final review. Fresh eyes will pick up flaws. 16 Get someone to review your decision who has some expertise (legal [Read More]

Top Tips for Decision Writers, Part 2

This is part of a series of posts based on a recent presentation I did on decision writing best practices. Tips 1 through 6 are here. 7.   State your conclusion at or near the beginning of your decision. So-called “point first” writing has its supporters and detractors. However, readers of decisions invariably skip to [Read More]

Top Tips for Decision Writers, Part 1

I recently presented my “top tips” for decision writers at a decision writing seminar. I’ll set them all out in this next series of posts. The list is in no particular order. 1. Read lots of decisions – good readers make good writers. Sometimes you learn more from poorly written decisions than the good ones, [Read More]

Enhancing Decision Writing: Top Tips for Tribunals

I recently presented tips and best practices on decision writing at the 9th Decision Writing Seminar put on by Federated Press in Ottawa. Here are the top tips for tribunals to enhance decision writing. I will post the top tips for decision writers in a later post. Develop templates for each type or kind of [Read More]

The Right to Know Your Adjudicator

It may seem obvious that knowing who has made a decision affecting rights is an important part of procedural fairness. The Federal Court recently revisited this issue in Kimberly Transport v. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The Port Authority suspended and then terminated Kimberly Transport’s license to drop off and pick up shipping containers. It did [Read More]

Med-arb and bias

“Used in the right circumstances, and with proper safeguards, [med-arb] can be a useful means of dispute resolution. However, care must be taken to ensure fairness, and to ensure that a reasonable apprehension of bias does not arise.” McClintock v. Karam, 2015 ONSC 1024 I have written about med-arb and its effectiveness here. The most [Read More]

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