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Principles of Administrative Justice

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Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals (CCAT)

A party in a tribunal proceeding should expect that the tribunal will be:

  1. Independent and impartial,
  2. Fair and accessible,
  3. Effective and efficient,  
  4. Knowledgeable and professional,  
  5. Accountable and user-focused, and
  6. Taking action to further principles of truth and reconciliation in relation to the Indigenous Peoples.
1. Independent and Impartial
  1. The tribunal will make its decisions independently. 
  2. The tribunal will make its decisions impartially. It will not be biased, or appear to a reasonable person to be biased, for or against any party. 
2. Fair and Accessible
  1. The tribunal’s processes will be fair. The tribunal will give each party an opportunity to present their case and/or respond to the case against them. 
  2. The tribunal will be inclusive. The tribunal will identify barriers that a party may face to access justice at the tribunal. Barriers may include language, needed accommodations, and lack of legal representation. The tribunal will provide appropriate support, while remaining impartial.
3. Effective and Efficient
  1. The tribunal will effectively manage its proceedings to ensure a fair, timely and efficient process.
  2. If appropriate, the tribunal will offer alternatives to a full in-person hearing 
  3. The time and costs for the parties and the tribunal will be appropriately matched to the types of proceedings and the parties involved.
4. Knowledgeable and Professional
  1. The tribunal’s adjudicators will have the experience and expertise necessary to manage proceedings, conduct hearings, and make decisions. 
  2. The tribunal will provide its adjudicators and staff with ongoing professional development, guidance about ethics, and assessments of their performance.
5. Accountable and User-focused
  1. The tribunal will focus on the needs of the people that use the tribunal. 
  2. The tribunal will appropriately engage and consult with the people and communities it serves.
  3. The tribunal will set service standards, and measure and report on its performance.
  4. The tribunal will measure whether the people using the tribunal are satisfied with the tribunal’s procedures and processes. 
  5. The tribunal will provide a way for complaints to be made about its services. The tribunal will address those complaints in a way that is impartial and credible.
  6. The tribunal will appropriately make its decisions available to the public, with privacy protections if required.
6. Truth and Reconciliation
  1. The tribunal will have a plan with concrete measurable steps to further the principles of truth and reconciliation.
  2. The tribunal will be guided by the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
  3. The tribunal will report on its progress towards truth and reconciliation.

Tribunals wishing to measure how they meet many of these expectations may use the Tribunal Excellence Resource, and consider the Truth and Reconciliation Resources.