Associate Chair Position Description


Reporting to the Executive Chair, Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO), and acting in accordance with SJTO's mandate, mission, core values, and governance and accountability documents, an Associate Chair:

An Associate Chair may be appointed as an Alternate Executive Chair of the SJTO cluster.

Key Duties

Adjudication and Dispute Resolution

As assigned by the Executive Chair, an Associate Chair:

  1. Works with the Executive Chair, the other Associate Chairs, and senior management to improve existing rules and processes to advance adjudicative excellence and access to justice; identifies new rules which might be required for legislative or other reasons.
  2. Along with the Executive Chair and the other Associate Chairs, provides jurisprudential leadership on issues affecting the SJTO as a whole and acts as the key jurisprudential resource for one or more of SJTO's tribunals.
  3. Provides leadership and day-to-day oversight of Vice-Chairs and Members, and in that role:
    1. participates in the recruitment of Vice-Chairs and Members and makes recommendations for appointment/reappointment or cross-appointment to the Executive Chair;
    2. mentors and develops Vice-Chairs and Members by providing oversight and advice, and discussing and encouraging professional development;
    3. leads meetings of the Vice-Chairs and Members to discuss emerging issues, build support for policy and process change, engage in professional sharing and development, and promote clarity and consistency in the exercise of independent decision-making; and
    4. assesses the work of Vice-Chairs and Members, and develops developmental opportunities based on those assessments.
  4. Provides day-to-day operational oversight of one or more of SJTO's constituent tribunals, and in that role:
    1. is knowledgeable about the tribunals' caseload;
    2. ensures the efficient and effective deployment and scheduling of adjudicators;
    3. fosters fair and accessible dispute resolution by the Members;
    4. ensures high quality, consistent, principled decisions and well-written reasons;
    5. develops effective adjudication strategies to deal with the tribunal's caseload;
    6. responds to public complaints regarding Vice-Chairs and Members; and
    7. in partnership with senior management of the tribunal, ensures effective case management.
  5. Regularly briefs the Executive Chair and provides recommendations on cases and issues arising in a tribunal which:
    1. are of major significance,
    2. have a high public impact,
    3. have a significant impact on procedural or substantive jurisprudence or the resources required from a tribunal or the parties,
    4. affect the jurisdiction of the tribunal,
    5. raise issues of cluster-wide relevance, including the recommendations for the assignment of adjudicators with particular expertise or the use of cross-appointees, or
    6. involve complaints or requests for reconsideration or review.

Adjudication and Mediation

  1. Conducts hearings and mediation, and demonstrates leadership as an adjudicator or a mediator.
  2. Provides oversight for, and may personally hear or assign adjudicators to cases or assignments that are of major significance, have a high public impact or a significant impact on procedural or substantive jurisprudence, are complex or high profile, or which involve new or novel considerations of law or policy.
  3. Assigns or conducts reconsiderations and reviews.

Strategic Leadership

  1. Participates in the development and leadership of the SJTO cluster by helping it set goals, establish and report on service and performance measures; and by leading the implementation of specific cluster-wide initiatives.
  2. Identifies ways to enhance adjudicative services.
  3. Enhances the role and reputation of SJTO's tribunals within Ontario's justice system as leaders in providing access to justice.
  4. Works with the Executive Chair to identify opportunities to align procedures and/or improve subject-matter connections amongst the SJTO tribunals.
  5. Keeps abreast of changes in demand for services, public expectations, legislative or regulatory change and government directives, and makes recommendations to the Executive Chair on how to respond to these changes.
  6. Helps develop and participate in meaningful stakeholder engagement.
  7. Plays a role in enhancing the reputation and standing of SJTO with the public and in the justice community by maintaining positive, productive relationships with stakeholders and all parties who appear before SJTO, and with other tribunals.
  8. Maintains effective communication with the management of the tribunal and works collaboratively with all appointees and staff to ensure efficient and effective delivery of tribunal services.


An Associate Chair will have all the qualifications of a Member at a superior level, plus the following:

  1. Experienced leader able to set strategic direction, articulate and work collaboratively towards a vision and oversee the implementation of plans and strategies to deliver high quality services.
  2. Ability to work in a matrix reporting relationship; ability to manage and lead a team of professionals.
  3. Thorough understanding of the administrative justice system, and relevant legal principles.
  4. Comprehensive knowledge of the legislation and subject matters under SJTO's jurisdiction and related laws and legal processes, or the ability to acquire such knowledge.
  5. In-depth understanding of the professional, institutional, policy and community context in which the SJTO tribunals operate.
  6. Comprehensive practical knowledge of dispute resolution practices to mentor and coach others, to recommend options for change, and to design new processes or change existing ones.
  7. Superior dispute resolution and analytical skills to resolve complex matters involving multiple interests, under public scrutiny.
  8. Superior writing skills to communicate, review and comment on complex decisions in a manner that is clear and concise.
  9. Communication and interpersonal skills to influence and communicate with Vice-Chairs, Members, staff, stakeholders and the public.
  10. Understanding of government values and a commitment to working within the accountability structure of a government's agency.
  11. Understanding of financial and operational business practices.
  12. Knowledge of and commitment to SJTO governance and public accountability documents.

Last updated: August 2017