right to reasons
Closing the Backdoor to a Right to Reasons?
I have been bothered for about a month now by a hypothetical question I received from an audience member at a talk I gave at the end of October. I was explaining some cases which hold either (a) that plainly inadequate reasons make a decision unreasonable or (b) the absence of sufficient reasons makes a […] Read more
The Irish Supreme Court Clarifies its Position on the Reason-Giving Requirement
I posted some harsh(ish) words previously about the Irish Supreme Court’s position on the right to reasons. More recently, in EMI Records (Ireland) Ltd. v. The Data Protection Commissioner,  IESC 34, the Court has laid its position out with more clarity. The factual background is important. An internet provider entered into a settlement with […] Read more
Reasons — Parroting the Statute as a Breach of Procedural Fairness, or Leading to Unreasonableness
The vexed question of the adequacy of reasons got another outing in Wall v. Independent Police Review Director, 2013 ONSC 3312. Here, an individual arrested during an allegedly heavy-handed police operation at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto made a complaint about his treatment. Having spent 28 hours in custody, he was released without charge.His […] Read more
The Irish Supreme Court on the Right to Reasons in Administrative Law
In his judgment in Meadows v. Minister for Justice,  IESC 3, Murray C.J. suggested that a general right to reasons for administrative decisions should be recognized in Irish law. In its decision last week in Mallak v. Minister for Justice,  IESC 59, the Irish Supreme Court did not quite go that far, but […] Read more
The Federal Court of Appeal on Inadequate Reasons
The Supreme Court of Canada took the (in my view) reasonable step in Newfoundland Nurses, 2011 SCC 62 of separating procedural review for failure to provide reasons from substantive review for reasonableness. One concern that might be voiced in response is that rolling a procedural right to reasons into substantive review may give too much […] Read more
Process and Substance: What Happens when the Decision-Maker Doesn’t Listen?
Another example from the Canadian courts of the thin line separating process from substance: Turner v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 FCA 159. On this occasion, the determination that a question went to process is again plausible at first sight but troubling on closer inspection. The applicant here alleged that he was discriminated against by the […] Read more
Reasons and Reasonableness in Administrative Law
In describing the deferential standard of review of reasonableness in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, the Supreme Court of Canada was very eloquent. Where a standard of review of correctness is appropriate, the reviewing court substitutes its judgment for that of the initial decision-maker. But where deference is owed, A court conducting a review for reasonableness […] Read more
A Slightly Less Cold House for Foreign Investors
One of the components of the Federal Government’s omnibus budget bill, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, involves amendments to the Investment Canada Act. In certain circumstances, take-overs by foreign persons of Canadian corporations must be reviewed by the Minister for Industry and, if the Minister concludes that the proposed investment is not of […] Read more
Why Give Reasons for Decisions?
From the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal comes a useful overview of the requirement to give reasons:  In a series of cases, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized the importance of reasons in various settings: e.g., Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 1999 CanLII 699 (SCC),  2 S.C.R. […] Read more