Administrative Law Matters
Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.
Reasonableness, Reasons and Reasoning by Incorporation
In Canada Post Corporation v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers, 2013 BCCA 108, the applicant employer had been accused of using regional forums where management would address employees in order to undermine the respondent union. Here is an excerpt from one of the addresses: I have had unbelievable support from you since I’ve been at […] Read more
Interesting Unreasonableness Decision from Alberta
Here is an interesting case from Alberta, where administrative law and disability law intersect: Voropanov v Alberta (Municipal Affairs), 2012 ABQB 551.The applicant is the operator of a private club in Calgary: the Oak Leaf. The club offers various services, including a Russian banya, which appears to be a particularly intense type of sauna. Because […] Read more
Appealing to the Right Place
The Québec Court of Appeal issued an important decision recently, clarifying the appropriate avenues for appeals of (some) administrative decisions: Lebel c. Kanafani, 2013 QCCA 200.At issue here was a complaint against a real estate agent, which was rejected at first instance by the appropriate regulatory body. The applicant then sought leave to appeal to […] Read more
A Fresh Start on the UK Supreme Court?
There is little to add to Dr. Mark Elliott’s excellent post on today’s UKSC decision in Jones v. First Tier Tribunal,  UKSC 19. As Mark notes in his comprehensive and thoughtful entry, Lord Carnwath was refreshingly honest about the role that the distinction between law and fact plays in allowing judges to allocate decision-making […] Read more
Does Penner Overrule Figliola? What’s the Canadian law on Issue Estoppel?
Doubtless you have been waiting with bated breath for my promised discussion of whether the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Penner v. Niagara (Regional Police Services Board), 2013 SCC 19 is consistent with another recent decision, British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) v. Figliola, 2011 SCC 52. I think it is.In Penner, the […] Read more
Administrative Decision-makers and the Ordinary Courts
What happens when administrative decisions, or decision-making processes, come into contact with the ordinary civil process? I will discuss two important recent Canadian decisions in this post: Penner v. Niagara (Regional Police Services Board), 2013 SCC 19 (Supreme Court of Canada), and Guay c. Gesca ltée, 2013 QCCA 343 (Quebec Court of Appeal). In a […] Read more
The “Rogers Exception”: Some Recent Canadian Standard of Review Decisions
In my essay on deference and the copyright cases, I suggested that an innovation the Supreme Court of Canada made in Rogers Communications Inc. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 35 would bedevil lower courts. Briefly, the exception suggests that where there is co-ordinate jurisdiction between courts and administrative decision-makers […] Read more
Regulatory Moneyball, Values and Cost-Benefit Analysis
Cass Sunstein has been whetting appetites for his new book, Simpler: the Future of Government (out April 9) by doling out tasty samples of its content (see e.g. here and here). One of these is an essay for Foreign Affairs, “Regulatory Moneyball”. The title is borrowed from Michael Lewis’ superb Moneyball: the Art of Winning […] Read more
Deference on the SCOTUS
Much of the focus on the Supreme Court of the United States recently has been on the hot-button topic of same-sex marriage. But the Court has also released some interesting administrative law decisions in recent weeks. The End of Auer Deference: Administrative Interpretations of Regulations I previously posted some sceptical thoughts on the continuing applicability […] Read more
Deference and Reasonableness
In Canada, it is gradually becoming clear that the Supreme Court wants reviewing courts to presume that the standard of review of administrative action is reasonableness. The Court has not been perfectly clear about its intentions, however, so there are still pockets of resistance (see my articles here and here for discussion). As I suggest […] Read more