Administrative Law Matters
Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.
Oh no, not that guy again!
Ontario’s human rights legislation allows unsuccessful parties to a complaint to apply for reconsideration of a decision. But what if the adjudicator who already found against the party is the same adjudicator who determines the application for reconsideration: will the party applying for reconsideration really get a fair shake?In Landau v. Ontario (Minister of Finance), […] Read more
Mayor Ford: Collateral Damage from the Doctrine of Collateral Attack?
I have written quite a bit about the saga surrounding the removal from office of Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford: see here (principally on the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act), here (principally on the City of Toronto Act) and here (an overview of why the Divisional Court should allow Ford’s appeal). Hackland J.’s decision at first […] Read more
Regulatory Breakdown in the United States
Penn’s RegBlog is running an interesting series on Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation (UPenn Press, 2012), edited by Cary Coglianese. The series features short versions of the contributions to the book. Here is a brief taste, from a chapter on housing regulation: Regulatory oversight of the housing finance system became reliant […] Read more
Canada’s Least Wanted
I spent yesterday afternoon in a professional development session at the Department of Justice on the subject of the Canadian Border Services Agency’s “Wanted” list. Here is the abstract of my talk, Canada’s Least Wanted: Two Perspectives of an Administrative Lawyer: Taking a leaf out of a book first written by the FBI, the federal […] Read more
Governance of First Nations: Federal Court Exercises Discretion not to Grant Relief
Canada’s relationship with its First Nations has been in the news a great deal recently, due to the Idle No More protests. Governance is a central issue in current political discourse and it was also at the centre of Gamblin v. Norway House Cree Nation Band Council, 2012 FC 1536. Here, the respondent had approved […] Read more
Deference on Questions of International Law
The majority of the Federal Court of Appeal in Hernandez Febles v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FCA 324 refused to defer to the immigration authorities’ interpretation of Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention (as implemented by s. 36 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).The question at issue was whether the applicant had properly […] Read more
Two Recent Papers on Accountability
I was particularly taken by Julia Black’s recent Calling Regulators to Account: Challenges, Capacities and Prospects: Since their inception, public lawyers and political scientists have fulminated at the lack of accountability of regulatory agencies. But, though it may surprise their critics, regulatory agencies do not go out of their way to be unaccountable. The difficulties […] Read more
Steering Charter Claims in the Right Direction
Williams v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2012 BCSC 1976 featured an unsuccessful argument that the respondent, the statutory decision-maker who follows up on road-side penalties administered by the provincial police force, had jurisdiction to grant Charter remedies. The applicant complained that his right to counsel had been violated because he had not been […] Read more
Municipal Councillors: Bias and Legislative Activities
Decision-making by municipal councillors has garnered plenty of headlines in recent months due to the travails of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (see my posts here and here, and my Financial Post op-ed). The issues in Ford’s case are principally ones of statutory interpretation. A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal, Beaverford v Thorhild […] Read more
Causation: Administrative-law style
I open with a warning: I find the Supreme Court of Canada’s causation jurisprudence hard to fathom, so it is with some trepidation that I venture out to comment on Alberta (Workers’ Compensation Board) v Alberta (Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation), 2012 ABQB 733. The case is about an individual who contracted asbestos-related disease […] Read more