Online Decision-Writing Course
Who should take this course?
All tribunal adjudicators and others who are involved in writing or reviewing decisions for their tribunals will benefit from this course.
Decisions that are clearly written and logical not only improve the entire adjudicative process for participants but also assist those who did not attend the hearing such as related boards and tribunals, lawyers, various public interest groups, politicians, the general public, and in some instances, courts or appellate bodies.
This course is accredited for up to 5 hours of Professional Content by the Law Society of Upper Canada. This program is also eligible for up to 10 hours of Substantive Content by LSUC. Both the Law Society of British Columbia and the Barreau du Québec accredit this program for 15 hours with of CPD. Accreditation from other provinces to come.
Why the course is needed?
The aim of the course is to help registrants:
- bring a reader-oriented perspective to making and writing administrative decisions;
- organize and revise decisions to enhance logic and flow;
- write clear, concise and coherent decisions; and
- gain confidence in decision-writing within their tribunal context.
Tribunal decisions should explain clearly and logically how the decision was made and, equally important, why. The prime audience for any decision is the hearing's participants who have a right to expect understandable reasons why the decision went for or against them. Another important audience is the court or appellate body that may review the decision for reasonableness. So a cogent, well-reasoned decision is in everyone's best interests.
However, many tribunal adjudicators in Canada do not have access to the on-site decision-writing courses currently available, either because of travel costs or the remoteness of their locations. As well, many provincial and federal tribunals have members who are part-time and who work in many locations.
An online course solves the problem – registrants can work on the lessons at their convenience. They just need a computer, printer, and access to the Internet.
- Understanding the audience for tribunal decisions
- Learning the seven components of decisions
- Reviewing style considerations
- Giving "reasons for reasons""
- Polishing writing skills
The course is presented through a series of online lessons with downloadable tribunal decisions, review checklists to evaluate the decisions, decision templates, pop-up boxes with extra writing pointers, excerpts from actual decisions to illustrate points in the lesson, worksheets, and links to online writing and reference manuals.
Members: $175 plus HST
Non-members: $275 plus HST
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