Member: Position Description
Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009
The purpose of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (“ATAGAA”) is to ensure that adjudicative tribunals are accountable, transparent and efficient in their operations, while remaining independent in their decision-making.
Tribunals Ontario have developed documents to meet the legislative requirements of the ATAGAA.
Section 7 of the ATAGAA requires that every adjudicative tribunal shall develop a member accountability framework. The framework must contain, among other things, a description of the functions of the Members, Vice Chairs and Associate Chairs of the constituent tribunals. It also must contain a description of the skills, knowledge, experience and other attributes and specific qualifications required of a person to be appointed as a member of the tribunal. This position description pertains to a Member.
Members appointed to one or more of Tribunals Ontario’s constituent tribunals (Animal Care Review Board, Assessment Review Board, Child and Family Services Review Board/Custody Review Board, Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, Fire Safety Commission, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Landlord and Tenant Board, Licence Appeal Tribunal, Ontario Civilian Police Commission, Ontario Parole Board, Ontario Special Education Tribunals (En/Fr) and Social Benefits Tribunal) are responsible for resolving disputes, assessing and making decisions under applicable legislation, policies and rules, in accordance with Tribunals Ontario’s mission, core values and governance and accountability structure.
Members work under the general direction and mentorship of an Associate Chair or a Vice Chair who is designated for the purpose by the Executive Chair, Tribunals Ontario. Members may be assigned to carry out dispute resolution, assessments, investigations and decision making alone or, as part of a panel/quorum and may work as part of a team.
A Member, where appropriate:
Law and Procedure
- Maintains impartiality and open-mindedness while maintaining control of dispute resolution, assessment, decision making, and investigative processes;
- Is familiar with and applies the relevant procedures in accordance with the governing statutes, applicable laws as well as written policies and rules of practice of the tribunal, and uses expert, active dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making approaches as appropriate;
- Participates in initial training, stays current in the field by engaging in ongoing professional development, and where appropriate keeps informed of leading case law from boards, tribunals, commissions and courts in Ontario and elsewhere;
- Understands and applies the relevant law and policies;
- Carries out dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making processes in a timely manner;
- Makes rulings before and during dispute resolution, assessments, investigations and decision-making processes to ensure the fair, proper and expeditious conduct, control and completion of the matter;
- Reviews and analyzes all evidence and submissions thoroughly, makes finding of fact, interprets the law, and prepares rulings, orders and decisions with reasons that are clear, concise, well-reasoned and reflect a solid understanding of the issues, evidence and the relevant law and policies.
- When sitting as a member of a panel/quorum, participates frankly and openly in discussions and works cooperatively with other members in sharing ideas, concerns, knowledge and expertise;
- Provides dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making services within Tribunals Ontario’s case management and case assignment procedures, and complies with Tribunals Ontario’s rules and policies;
- Issues decisions within the periods established by law or policies of Tribunals Ontario;
- Works to advance consistency in Tribunals Ontario’s jurisprudence and approach to dispute resolution, assessments, investigations and decision making, reflecting the principle of high-quality resolution of matters in accordance with jurisprudence, policies and rules, and; Releases decisions in accordance with established policy, and conforms to applicable standards for decision format;
- Attends regular Tribunals Ontario or tribunal meetings to discuss issues of common interest; and
- Where appropriate, submits draft decisions for, and participates in, peer and other decision reviews before they are issued in accordance with Tribunals Ontario policy.
Integrity and Fair Practices
- Respects cultural diversity and need for accommodation;
- Treats every person who uses or seeks to use Tribunals Ontario services with the utmost fairness, respect and courtesy, and conducts all matters with a view to facilitating access to justice;
- Ensures equal access, fair treatment and fair and proportionate process in accordance with Tribunals Ontario’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 an issue of bias or conflict of interest;
- Acts with integrity and honesty, and in accordance with Tribunals Ontario’s organizational values.
In addition to case-related duties, Members, are expected to:
- Comply with the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, governance documents and Tribunals Ontario’s Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest Policy and Ethics Plan;
- Comply with policies and practices set out by Tribunals Ontario to meet financial accountability and administrative requirements;
- Participate in assigned activities to build the community’s confidence in Tribunals Ontario;
- Participate in training and in Tribunals Ontario and tribunal meetings, projects and committees;
- Work as a member of a team if so assigned. Teams may be led by a Member, Vice Chair or Associate Chair as designated by the Executive Chair;
- Work constructively and contribute to a collegial atmosphere at Tribunals Ontario by sharing knowledge, time and experience with other appointees, by engaging in frank internal discussions to improve the quality of services, by respecting Tribunals Ontario’s collective interests and integrity in external discussions or communications, and by not disclosing confidential information obtained as a Member;
- As a full-time Member, be present in the office, (home office)or another assigned work site during regular office hours;
- As a part-time Member, be present where assigned during the period assigned;
- Conduct self-assessments of performance and participate in performance assessments and associated training or other supports;
- Travel throughout Ontario to carry out dispute resolution, assessment, investigative or decision-making responsibilities.
Members, where appropriate, are required to have the following abilities, skills and knowledge in order to carry out their responsibilities effectively:
- Experience in interpreting and applying legislation with specific knowledge of the governing Act(s) and related law and policies concerning the tribunal(s) to which they are appointed.
- Understanding of the professional, institutional and community context within which they operate.
- Understanding of the justice system, administrative law and human rights law, as well as the concepts of fairness, natural justice and proportionality.
- Demonstrated analytical, conceptual, problem-solving, decision-making and writing skills.
- Ability to listen actively and to communicate clearly and effectively with tribunal users, including those who are not professional representatives or who rarely participate in administrative justice proceedings.
- Ability to formulate reasoned decisions and communicate them orally and in writing in a timely manner.
- Well-developed dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making skills.
- Impartiality and sound judgment to assess fairly cases involving conflicting evidence, the assessment of credibility and the determination of the public interest.
- Commitment to ongoing professional development to enhance expertise and remain current in the field.
- Good organizational skills to manage a heavy workload with complex, ongoing processes.
- Self-confidence/self-control and sensitivity to the diverse interests of parties, participants and presenters in order to maintain effective 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 work effectively within, and to contribute to, a collegial, team-based environment to ensure excellence in the work of Tribunals Ontario’s constituent tribunals.
- Commitment to the protection of the public interest within the mandate of the Tribunals
- Computer literacy.
- Ability and willingness to travel (with accommodation as required).
This position description is available in various accessible formats including Braille, audio tape and large print. For alternative format or a paper copy, please contact the Office of the Executive Chair, Tribunals Ontario.
This position description will be reviewed every 3 years along with the other documentation required by ATAGAA.
This position description was adopted by the Executive Chair, Sean Weir, on August 31, 2020.
Tribunals Ontario – Member: Position Description