Associate Chair: 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 has 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 an Associate Chair.
Reporting to the Executive Chair of Tribunals Ontario and being appointed as Associate Chair of one or more of its 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), and acting in accordance with Tribunals Ontario’s mandate, mission, core values and governance and accountability documents, an Associate Chair:
- Performs such functions or responsibilities as the Executive Chair may delegate;
- Participates as a member of Tribunals Ontario’s senior leadership team and assists in building and leading the constituent tribunals;
- Provides day-to-day oversight of one or more of Tribunals Ontario’s constituent tribunals and plays a key role in the strategic assignment of cases and in ensuring access to justice and high quality dispute resolution, risk and public safety assessments and investigations, where appropriate;
- Acts with integrity to advance the best interests of Tribunals Ontario and the public; and
- Functions as a Member of one or more of Tribunals Ontario’s constituent tribunals, which includes a Vice Chair and Member’s duties and responsibilities.
An Associate Chair may be appointed as an Alternate Executive Chair of Tribunals Ontario.
In addition to the duties outlined in the Vice Chair position description and as assigned from time-to-time by the Executive Chair, an Associate Chair, where appropriate:
- Participates in the development and leadership of Tribunals Ontario; in setting its goals and in establishing and reporting on measures of service quality and performance;
- Leads the implementation of specified organization-wide initiatives;
- Provides the best service to Ontarians through working to identify ways to enhance dispute resolution, assessments, investigative and decision-making services that the constituent tribunals are mandated to provide to meet the changing needs of our communities;
- Enhances the role and reputation of the constituent tribunals within Ontario’s justice system, and accelerates their development as leaders in access to justice and the full recognition and integration of diversity in their work;
- Works with the Executive Chair to identify opportunities to develop procedural or subject matter connections and alignments among the constituent tribunals, and to develop the efficiency and subject matter effectiveness that flows from the clustering of the Tribunals Ontario tribunals;
- Works with the Executive Chair, other Associate Chairs, and senior management to assess existing rules and processes for opportunities to improve their effectiveness, efficiency and fairness, and to advance dispute resolution, assessments, investigative and decision-making excellence and access to justice;
- Identifies tribunal specific rules that might be required for legislative or other reasons;
- Keeps abreast of changes in demand for services, public expectations, legislative or regulatory change and government directives, and makes recommendations to the Executive Chair with respect to proposed approaches for responding to these changes;
- Plays a role in enhancing the reputation and standing of Tribunals Ontario with the public and in the justice community
- Maintains positive, productive and appropriate relationships with stakeholders and all interests appearing before Tribunals Ontario, and with other tribunals, and participates in assigned activities for these purposes.
- Along with the Executive Chair and the other Associate Chairs:
- Identifies and develops cross-cluster training opportunities;
- Identifies, recommends and develops, where appropriate, culturally sensitive administrative justice process alternatives; and
- Provides jurisprudential leadership on issues affecting Tribunals Ontario as a whole.
- Regularly briefs the Executive Chair and provides recommendations on cases and issues arising in a tribunal that:
- Are of major significance;
- Have a high public or stakeholder-specific impact;
- Have a significant impact on procedural or substantive jurisprudence or the resources required from a tribunal or the parties;
- Have a significant impact on the reputation and/or integrity of the cluster and/or the tribunal;
- Affect the jurisdiction of the tribunal or raise issues of cluster-wide relevance;
- Involve complaints or requests for reconsideration or review; or
- Involve complaints concerning Members or staff.
- Maintains open, effective and regular communication with the management of the applicable tribunal(s) and works collaboratively with all appointees and staff to ensure efficient, effective and quality delivery of tribunal services.
- Provides day-to-day operational oversight of one or more of Tribunals Ontario’s constituent tribunals, and in that role:
- Is knowledgeable about the tribunal’s caseload;
- Ensures the efficient and effective deployment of dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making resources and assists in the appropriate and timely assignment of these resources;
- Where applicable, ensures high quality, consistent, principled investigations;
- Where applicable, ensures high quality, consistent, principled assessments;
- Ensures high quality, consistent, principled decisions and well-written reasons;
- Develops effective and appropriate dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making strategies to deal with the tribunal’s caseload;
- In partnership with the senior management of the tribunal, ensures efficient, effective and integrated case management; and
- Responds to changes in demand for service, public expectations, legislative or regulatory change and government directives.
- Provides leadership and day-to-day oversight of Vice Chairs and Members, and in that role, where applicable:
- Participates in the recruitment of Vice Chairs and Members and makes recommendations for appointment/reappointment or cross-appointment to the Executive Chair;
- Mentors and develops Vice Chairs and Members by providing oversight and advice, and discussing and encouraging professional development of and among appointees;
- 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;
- Fosters fair and accessible dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making processes by the Members;
- Provides cultural alternatives to mainstream justice processes in appropriate circumstances;
- Provides timely and effective professional development and training of Vice Chairs and Members;
- Provides ongoing, timely and accurate performance assessments and/or input into the work of Vice Chairs and Members and develops appropriate development plans; and
- Assists the Executive Chair in responding to public complaints regarding Vice Chairs and Members.
Law and Procedure
- Acts as the key jurisprudential resource and provides jurisprudential leadership for one or more of Tribunals Ontario’s constituent tribunals;
- Remains current in developments in administrative law and related issues in Ontario, Canada and other jurisdictions; and
- Continuously assesses tribunal rules and procedures for opportunities to improve efficiency and access to justice and works with the Executive Chair to develop and implement innovative processes and procedures to enhance fair, effective and timely resolution, assessment, investigation and decision-making of matters before the tribunals within the applicable legal and policy frameworks.
Dispute Resolution, Risk and Public Safety Assessments and Investigations
- Provides oversight or may personally assume 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.
- Provides oversight, advice and guidance on dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making techniques including the variety of process used to resolve disputes between parties, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.
- When leading or participating in dispute resolution, assessments or investigative processes demonstrates leadership in the following areas and meets all standards set for Vice Chairs and Members:
- Is familiar with and applies the relevant procedures;
- In all capacities uses an expert, active resolution, assessment, investigative or decision-making approach;
- Understands and applies the relevant laws and policies;
- Maintains impartiality and open-mindedness and maintains control of the process;
- Respects cultural diversity and needs for accommodation;
- Treats every person who uses or seeks to use tribunal services with the utmost fairness, respect and courtesy and conducts all matters with a view to facilitating access to justice;
- Manages dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making processes in a timely manner;
- Provides clear, concise well-reasoned decisions which reflect a solid grasp of the issues and relevant law and policies;
- Demonstrates leadership in working to resolve matters and issues and offering suggestions for resolution, in keeping with the merits of the case and the applicable law and policies.
An Associate Chair will have all the qualifications of a Vice Chair and Member at a highly developed level plus the following:
- Demonstrated leadership and experience with the ability to set strategic direction, articulate and work towards a vision and oversee the implementation of plans and strategies to deliver efficient, effective and high quality services.
- Thorough understanding of the administrative justice system, including the relevant principles.
- Comprehensive knowledge of the legislation and subject matters under the tribunal’s jurisdiction and related laws and legal processes or the ability to acquire such knowledge.
- In-depth understanding of the professional, institutional, policy and community context in which Tribunals Ontario operates, or the ability to acquire such understanding.
- Highly developed dispute resolution, assessment, investigative, decision-making, supervisory and consensus-building skills.
- Where applicable, knowledge of dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making processes and practices including the requisite analytical and decision-making processes required.
- Where applicable, knowledge of the continuum of dispute resolution, assessment, investigative and decision-making processes to design new or change existing processes.
- Superior dispute resolution, assessment, investigative, decision-making and analytical skills to resolve complex matters involving multiple interests, under public scrutiny.
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills to positively influence and communicate with staff, Members, stakeholders and the public.
- Understanding of government values and a commitment to working within government’s agency accountability structure.
- Understanding and commitment to the concept of clustering.
- Understanding of sound financial and operational business processes and practices.
- Commitment to the protection of the public interest within the mandate of the tribunals.
- Commitment to respect diversity and to maintain fair, transparent processes that meets the highest professional standards of Tribunals Ontario's Code of Conduct.
- Knowledge of and commitment to Tribunals Ontario governance practices.
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 – Associate Chair: Position Description