January 17-18, 2008

University of Toronto Faculty of Law

This symposium explored the future of administrative justice by bringing together academics, participants in the tribunal sector and government policy makers to dialogue about improvements to administrative tribunals in Ontario and other jurisdictions. The goals of this event were to broaden the understanding of the issues and to create a richer knowledge base of research and analyses.

In recent years, there have been several jurisdictions which have overhauled their administrative tribunal sectors. Currently, there is a lively debate about the scope, nature and status of administrative justice in Ontario; however, this debate has not been given broad attention in academic research and literature. There are also important developments in peer jurisdictions, especially in B.C., Quebec and the United Kingdom, which can and should inform the dialogue in Ontario.

This symposium brought together leading academics, government officials and participants in the administrative tribunal sector from Ontario and other jurisdictions, and by doing so created source materials to enhance the knowledge based in this area. Source materials include academic papers, bibliographic materials, and a webcast.

The keynote address was given by Lord Justice Robert Carnwath, Senior President of Tribunals, England and Wales, on January 17, 2008. Read the keynote address (PDF).

Other speakers and moderators included Professor France Houle, Dean Phillip Bryden, Professor Lorne Sossin, Ron Ellis, Kathy Laird, Adam Dodek, Professor Audrey Macklin, Professor Laverne Jacobs, Deborah Roberts, Lillian Ma, Justice John Evans, and Integrity Commissioner David Mullan.

The symposium was hosted by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, with generous support from Legal Aid Ontario and The Law Foundation of Ontario.

We expect the papers presented at the symposium to provide a foundation for further academic research and policy development. The source materials (papers, bibliography and webcast) will also form a base for community legal education in the law schools, and public legal education among the Ontario's legal clinics.

Symposium Report


Conference Proceedings

Thursday, January 17, 2008

5:05Welcome (Dean Mayo Moran, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto; rep. of
organizing committee)
5:10Introduction of keynote address (Justice James Carnwath, Superior Court of
5:15Keynote address; Lord Justice Robert Carnwath, (Senior President of Tribunals)

Friday, January 18, 2008

8:30Breakfast / Coffee 

Panel 1: New Frontiers of Merit in Tribunal Appointments

Professor Lorne Sossin (Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) (moderator)

  • Debra Roberts (Public Appointments Secretariat, Government of Ontario)
  • Judith McCormack (Downtown Legal Services)
  • Michael Gottheil (Ontario Human Rights Tribunal)
  • Lilian Ma (Landlord and Tenant Board)

Panel 2: Current Issues in Tribunal Independence

David Mullan (Integrity Commissioner, City of Toronto) (moderator)

  • Ron Ellis (Osgoode Hall Law School)
  • Laverne Jacobs (University of Windsor)
  • Professor Audrey Macklin (University of Toronto)
  • Commentator: Visiting Professor Adam Dodek (Osgoode/U of T)

Panel 3: New Developments in Tribunal Reform

Justice John Evans (Federal Court) (moderator)

  • France Houle (University of Montreal) “Lessons from Quebec”
  • Lord Justice Robert Carnwath (Senior President of Tribunals) “Lessons from
    the UK”
  • Dean Philip Bryden (University of New Brunswick) “Lessons from BC”
  • Ivana Petricone (ARCH legal clinic, Ontario) “Ontario’s experience”
  • Commentator: Professor Cristie Ford (University of British Columbia)
3:15Roundtable Discussion on Next Steps to Reform (Kathy Laird (Ontario Human
Rights Tribunal) – Moderator)
4:15Conference Wrap-Up

For more information, contact conferences.law@utoronto.ca or 416-978-0427.