Member Position Description
Members appointed to one or more of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario's tribunals (the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Custody Review Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Social Benefits Tribunal and the Ontario Special Education Tribunals [English and French]) are responsible for resolving disputes under applicable legislation, policies and rules, using a variety of dispute resolution methods and acting in accordance with SJTO's mission, core values and governance and accountability documents.
Adjudication and Dispute Resolution
Members work under the general direction and mentorship of an Associate Chair or a Vice Chair. Members may be assigned to carry out their adjudicative responsibilities alone or, as part of a panel, and may work as part of a team.
- As an Adjudicator:
- Is familiar with, and applies, the relevant procedures; uses an expert, active adjudication approach, as appropriate;
- Understands and applies the relevant law, rules and policies;
- Maintains impartiality, open-mindedness and decision-making independence;
- Respects diversity and needs for accommodation;
- Treats every person who uses or seeks to use SJTO services with the utmost fairness, respect and courtesy, and conducts all matters with a view to facilitating access to justice;
- Actively listens to understand the interests and positions of all parties;
- Manages the hearing process with a view to timely resolution of disputes;
- Makes rulings before and during a hearing to ensure the fair, proper and expeditious conduct, control and completion of the matter;
- Reviews and analyzes all evidence and submissions thoroughly, makes findings of fact, interprets the law, and prepares orders or decisions with reasons that:
- reflect a solid grasp of the issues, evidence, and the relevant law and policies,
- are clear, concise and intelligible; and,
- where appropriate, include remedies that are practical and capable of being implemented by the parties.
- When sitting as a member of a panel, participates frankly and openly in panel discussions and works cooperatively and respectfully with other panel members in sharing ideas, concerns, knowledge and expertise;
- Provides adjudication services within SJTO's case management and case assignment procedures; complies with SJTO's rules and policies; and
- Issues decisions within established timeframes.
- As a Mediator:
- May be assigned to mediate disputes;
- May be expected to contact the parties and participants to promote early mediation;
- Works to resolve matters by offering suggestions for resolution, in keeping with the merits of the case and the applicable law and policies;
- Provides mediation services within SJTO's case management and case assignment procedures; complies with SJTO's rules and policies.
- Participates in initial training and stays current in the field by engaging in professional development and by keeping informed of leading case law.
- Works to advance consistency in SJTO's jurisprudence and approach to dispute resolution by:
- Releasing decisions that conform to SJTO standards.
- Attending SJTO or tribunal meetings to discuss issues of statutory interpretation, without attempting to come to a consensus on the interpretation of the law, or to establish an SJTO or tribunal-wide position on how to decide a particular case.
- Submitting draft decisions for, and participating in, peer reviews before decisions are issued.
Note: Decision reviews may address whether decisions are clearly written, address relevant issues, consider relevant law, including other tribunal decisions, and are grammatically correct, but do not seek to require amendment to the substance of the decision.
Integrity and Fair Practices
- Ensures equal access, fair treatment and fair and proportionate process in accordance with SJTO's rules and procedures.
- Deals with conflict and diverging interests while maintaining decorum, due process, and professional and respectful interactions among all participants.
- Recognizes and deals appropriately with situations that may involve bias or conflict of interest.
- Acts with integrity and honesty, in accordance with SJTO's mandate, mission and values.
In addition to case-related duties, Members are expected to:
- Work constructively and contribute to a collegial atmosphere at SJTO by:
- sharing knowledge, time and experience with other SJTO appointees,
- participating on committees,
- engaging in frank internal discussions to improve the quality of SJTO's services,
- respecting SJTO's institutional interests, and
- not disclosing confidential information.
- Work as a member of a team of adjudicators, if assigned. Teams may be led by a Member or Vice-Chair.
- Participate in their performance assessments and professional development plans.
- Work collaboratively with all appointees and staff to ensure efficient, effective and quality delivery of SJTO services.
- Comply with policies and practices set out by SJTO to meet financial accountability and administrative requirements.
- Commit to ongoing professional development to enhance expertise and remain current in the field.
- If appointed as a full-time member, be present in the office or another assigned work site during regular office hours.
- Comply with the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, and SJTO's Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest Policy and Ethics Plan.
- Preserve confidentiality and respect privacy rights.
- Be available to travel within Ontario (with accommodation as required) to conduct hearings and/or to mediate matters.
Members are required to have the following abilities, skills and knowledge:
- Experience interpreting and applying legislation.
- Knowledge of the governing act(s) and related law and policies of the tribunal(s) to which they are appointed, or the ability to acquire this knowledge.
- Understanding of the professional, institutional and community context in which the tribunal operates.
- Understanding of the justice system and the concepts of fairness, natural justice and proportionality. Ability to apply the principles of administrative and human rights law.
- Demonstrated analytical, conceptual, problem-solving, decision-making and writing skills.
- Ability to listen actively and to communicate clearly and effectively with SJTO users, including those who are not professional representatives or who rarely participate in administrative justice proceedings.
- Ability to formulate reasoned decisions that are clear, concise and intelligible, and communicate them orally and in writing in a timely manner.
- Well-developed adjudication and mediation skills.
- Impartiality and sound judgment to fairly assess conflicting evidence and credibility.
- Good organizational skills to manage a heavy workload with complex, ongoing processes.
- Self-confidence, self-control and sensitivity to the diverse interests of parties, their representatives and witnesses, in order to maintain control in confrontational and stressful situations.
- Commitment to respect diversity, to maintain fair, transparent processes that meet high professional standards and to provide access to justice.
- Ability to contribute to a collegial, team-based environment.
- Computer literacy.
Last updated: August 2017