Lessons from ELTO: The Potential of Ontario’s Clustering Model to Advance Administrative Justice

Michael Gottheil and Doug Ewart 1

March 8, 2011


This paper offers some initial observations on Ontario’s recent move to ‘cluster’ some of its adjudicative tribunals. As developed in Ontario, clustering brings a specific group of tribunals together within a single organization under the leadership of one Executive Chair. The clustered tribunals, as well as the cluster itself, are brought within the responsibility of the Ministry of the Attorney General 2 . It was developed as a structural response to concerns that stand-alone tribunals, while capable of promoting and preserving specialization, and indeed often created for that very reason, may suffer from a number of disadvantages.

These disadvantages are said to include the potential for capture by the host ministry and often particular stakeholders; the inefficient use of infrastructure resources; a potential to become insular and self-referential; and a potential to lose the capacity to incorporate in their work evolutions in public policies, societal values, tribunal design, demographics and technical or legal approaches. As well, siloed tribunals may offer limited caseload variety or professional development for adjudicators, and, where the caseload is small, may simply lack the resources to support an effective and modern administrative justice organization despite sincere efforts to achieve that goal 3 .

1 Michael Gottheil was the first Executive Chair of Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario. In March, 2011, he was appointed as the Executive Chair of Ontario’s social justice tribunal cluster. He was Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario from 2005 to 2009, following some 20 years in the private practice of administrative, human rights and labour law. At the time this article was written, Doug Ewart was the Senior Advisor, Administrative Justice Reform Project, Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario. He has over 30 years experience in justice policy development at senior levels in both the Ontario and Canadian governments in fields including civil, family, administrative, criminal, aboriginal and human rights law, and equality rights issues. This paper is an updated extract from a paper entitled “Improving Access to Justice through International Dialogue: Lessons for and from Ontario’s Cluster Approach to Tribunal Efficiency and Effectiveness”, which was presented by Michael Gottheil to the 2010 Australasian Conference of Planning and Environmental Courts and Tribunals, and is posted on ELTO’s website. The views in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Government of Ontario.
2 When not clustered, Ontario tribunals tend to report to the Minister responsible for the policy area in which they work. See in this regard n. 22, infra.
3 These small and often isolated tribunals are frequently referred to as orphans.

Structural responses to these issues have come relatively recently, and have ranged from full amalgamation (merger/unification), to amalgamation modified by the creation of distinct lists or groups of adjudicators for defined subject areas, to creating umbrella councils or secretariats which support and sometimes coordinate certain aspects of the work of otherwise distinct tribunals.

Clustering is situated toward the middle of this spectrum. For our purposes, it can be defined 4 as a subset of a jurisdiction’s tribunals brought together in a single organization or agency under one organizational leader, with each tribunal maintaining its own statutory jurisdiction 5 and its distinct membership. 6 While, as discussed below, a cluster promotes an integrated approach to the work done within it, the model adopted in Ontario permits subject matter expertise to be maintained 7 , and indeed strengthened, and recognizes that some constituent tribunals may retain unique stakeholder and user relationships. As it has been developed so far in Ontario, clustering has the potential to answer several of the concerns which have been raised in academic and law reform discussions 8 of tribunal mergers and amalgamations, and may offer a way to facilitate, in practical and tangible ways, the pre-eminent goal of access to justice in the broadest sense of the term 9 .

4 While the term is not widely used, it has been used in this context with a different meaning than the one employed here – see, for example, the New Zealand Law Commission, which uses ‘clustering’ to describe bringing tribunals together in a much more unified way (“fewer and larger” tribunals “integrated within a single entity”) than the above definition suggests: Determining Justice for All, A Vision for New Zealand’s Courts and Tribunals , March 2004, at page 288).
5 In comparing the effectiveness of groupings of tribunals, it is important to be aware of whether those groupings have been established in a context where statutory reforms amalgamated or merged the jurisdictions of the constituent tribunals or, more fundamentally, sought to rationalize laws and policies governing the issues which come before the grouped tribunals. In establishing Ontario’s first clusters, neither was done, and clustering will play out in the absence of any other reforms related to the jurisdiction of the clustered tribunals or the legislative and policy context within which they work in their often overlapping areas of operation.
6 In the cluster context, cross-appointments do not diminish the reality that each member of a tribunal, including a member cross-appointed from another tribunal, has been specifically appointed to it, and has jurisdiction only over matters before the specific tribunal(s) to which they have been appointed. Pursuant to s. 14 of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Accountability Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, Ch. 33, Sch. 5 (the Tribunals Act), persons appointed to adjudicative tribunals must meet any specific statutory qualifications for the appointment and must also have “experience, knowledge or training in the subject matter and legal issues dealt with by the tribunal” to which they are to be appointed, unless these requirements are waived pursuant to a regulation made under ss. 23(e) of the Act . With the exception of its provisions regarding clustering, the Act has not yet been proclaimed.
7 This is a key distinction between Ontario’s clustering model and other reform models such as mergers. Maintaining subject matter expertise not only reflects the reason why most tribunals were created and serves to meet the needs of a tribunal’s users and those affected by its decisions, but as well directly advances access to justice (see the paper referred to in n. 1, supra, at pages 16-17). It also indirectly supports access to justice by providing a principled basis for deference by reviewing courts, which enhances the finality of a tribunal’s decisions and limits the advantage that those with the resources to re-litigate issues would otherwise have.
8 The authors are grateful to Jamie Baxter for his insightful research and analysis of the relationship between Ontario’s clustering model and approaches other jurisdictions have taken or contemplated to bringing tribunals together. Mr. Baxter, a 2010 graduate of the University of Toronto Law School, worked as a summer student in 2010 at ELTO under the general supervision of Dean Lorne Sossin of the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.
9 See in this regard the paper cited in n. 1, supra, at pages 13-21, and note 7, supra .

1. The Legislative Foundation for Clustering: A Focus on Linkages and Synergies

The Administrative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Accountability Act, 2009 10 (the Tribunals Act) provides a broad framework for the further evolution of adjudicative 11 tribunals in Ontario. It establishes requirements to prepare and publish documents outlining a number of core structural elements of tribunals in their roles as public bodies with accountability to the public, including through the government, and in their roles as adjudicative bodies within the justice system where distinct governance issues arise from the need for accountability to co-exist with independence from outside influences, including from the government. These documents include a tribunal’s mission, mandate, qualifications for members, service standards, complaints policies, ethics plans, and other similar matters12. The Act goes on to reinforce the independence of the adjudicative tribunals by requiring that appointments of members of an adjudicative tribunal be made on the recommendation of its chair following a merit-based competition13 employing statutorily-defined competencies.

The Tribunals Act also gives the government the power to designate two or more tribunals “as a cluster” if the matters they deal with are such that “they can operate more effectively and efficiently as part of a cluster than alone”14.

The particular way in which the provision governing clustering was drafted appears to send some important messages as to the legislative intention behind this concept. Pursuant to the Act, in order to cluster two or more tribunals the government is to have looked at the matters15 they deal with and to have determined that there is something about those matters that can be better dealt with in a clustered structure than if the tribunals continued to operate alone. In the Ontario approach to clustering, the distinguishing rationale for a cluster accordingly lies in the capacity to achieve both improved efficiency in dealing with, and better substantive resolutions of, the matters dealt with by the cluster’s constituent tribunals.

10 Supra, n. 6
11 In Ontario, the term adjudicative tribunal means a tribunal prescribed as such under the Tribunals Act. There is no legislated definition of the term. See O. Reg. 126/10 for the current list of adjudicative tribunals.
12 The Tribunals Act , supra, n. 6, sections 3-8.
13 Ibid. , section 14. Note that the government may make exceptions to this: see ss. 23(e).
14 Ibid. , section 15. This provision has been proclaimed in force.
15 In the ELTO context, the matters around which the cluster was built can be seen to refer to the subjects which come before the clustered tribunals, as all deal with cases involving or affecting land use and valuation. In other contexts the statutory term ‘matters’ may be read to include the nature of the issues which come before the clustered tribunals, even where those issues do not relate to a shared subject so clearly delineating as land. In neither instance is it required that all adjudicative tribunals whose effectiveness in the matters before them could be improved by membership in a specific cluster be included, nor need the effectiveness of each included tribunal be improved in identical ways. Clustering is not best seen as a tightly defined structural end in itself, but rather as a flexible structural means to help clustered tribunals provide better public services.

The legislative focus on grouping tribunals by reference to the ability to improve their effectiveness in relation to the matters they deal with can be contrasted to approaches which would group tribunals by reference to other considerations such as:

In opting to base clustering in part on improving the substantive effectiveness of a cluster’s tribunals, the Legislature has not limited its rationale for clustering to improvements in efficiency, which we might equate with co-location and administrative integration, but equally has included improved effectiveness in resolving the various matters within the jurisdiction of the clustered tribunals. There are two key concepts here: i) effectiveness, not just efficiency; and ii) effectiveness in relation to substance, not just process. The Ontario approach to clustering does not just seek to improve outputs, but instead is also intended to improve outcomes for those who use, or are affected by, tribunal services16 .

16 Assessing outcomes rather than outputs moves the focus from the pace and volume of resolutions to the results achieved by those resolutions. The kinds of results to which clustering may be expected to lead include decisions which show an appreciation of, and reflect, legal and contextual considerations which cross tribunal boundaries and which contribute to a body of jurisprudence which provides coherent and meaningful guidance to those affected by tribunal decisions.

Once the government uses its clustering power, the tribunals are designated “as a cluster” 17. This gives tangibility to the concept of a cluster – a cluster is more than a label. Once constituted, a cluster becomes an entity recognized by statute with its own identity and purpose. This is reinforced when the Act goes on to say that the accountability and governance documents which all adjudicative tribunals in Ontario are required to have, and which themselves become defining organizational characteristics, must, in the case of a cluster, be jointly developed and entered into18. As noted above, these documents include, among others, a mission statement and a description of the skills and attributes required of tribunal members. The fact that the tribunals in a cluster must jointly develop a mission, and a joint statement of the members’ attributes and qualifications, indicates again that a cluster is to have an existence and purpose beyond being an administrative home for a collection of tribunals.

Once a cluster is created, the government may appoint an Executive Chair to lead and manage all the tribunals in the cluster. That Executive Chair then, by statute, has all of the powers and duties assigned to the chair of each of the constituent tribunals by any statute, regulation, order-in-council or directive 19. This choice to vest all of the previous chairs’ powers and duties in just one chair signals an intention to go beyond a coordinating chair model to create one in which the Executive Chair leads the cluster as a whole to drive improvements in effectiveness as well as to generate efficiencies.

The Act then permits, but does not require, the government to appoint an Associate Chair for each clustered tribunal. If it does so, then one or more of the Associate Chairs may also be appointed as Alternate Executive Chairs of the cluster as a whole. This leadership structure further evinces a desire to have a cluster function as an inter-connected entity, and not just as a coordinated group of separately-led adjudicative bodies.

For all of these reasons, it seems clear that the Tribunals Act demonstrates an intention by the Legislature to develop clusters of tribunals for purposes that go beyond administrative efficiencies and coordination. Such goals could be achieved by appointing outside efficiency experts and by encouraging the tribunals to work together. Making the potential to improve the substantive outcomes (the subject matter effectiveness) achieved by the clustered tribunals a threshold condition for clustering, requiring joint accountability and governance documents, and appointing a single Executive Chair for all of the clustered tribunals, sends a different message. It suggests a need to interpret and apply a cluster mandate in a way which will share experiences, enhance expertise, develop linkages and encourage synergies across the matters dealt with by a cluster, subject only to respecting the unchanged statutory mandates of the constituent tribunals.

17 See O. Reg. 126/10 which formally constitutes the ELTO cluster. See also ss. 16(3) of the Tribunals Act, supra n. 6 which provides for the appointment of alternate chairs “of the cluster”.
18 Ibid , section 18.
19 Ibid. , section 17. Note that the government has the power to exempt by regulation some of the duties which might otherwise flow to an Executive Chair under this provision: see ss. 23(f).

2. Clustering to Date

Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) has provided the first20 opportunity to determine whether clustered tribunals can be more efficient than the same tribunals operating alone and whether the matters they deal with can be addressed more effectively, and access to justice and the quality of their services can be significantly improved, when they operate as part of a cluster. It is widely seen as a key indicator of Ontario’s commitment to improve and modernize administrative justice overall.

The ELTO cluster started informally, with the five tribunals which constitute ELTO21 being brought to one location and placed under one ministry22, and with the administrative infrastructure for all being amalgamated23. This process was accelerated with the appointment in November, 2009 of an Executive Chair to lead all of the clustered tribunals, and with the introduction and passage that Fall of the Tribunals Act 24 to create the legal structure for clustering.

20 In August of 2010 the Ontario government indicated that it was proceeding with a second cluster comprised of “social justice” tribunals, and initiated a competition for its Executive Chair. That cluster was formally created by a January 25, 2011 amendment to O. Reg. 126/10, and its Executive Chair (Michael Gottheil) has since been named by the Cabinet.
21 The tribunals which comprise Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario are: The Assessment Review Board , which hears property assessment appeals to ensure that properties are assessed and classified in accordance with the provisions of the Assessment Act. The Board also operates under a variety of other legislation and hears appeals on property tax matters.
The Board of Negotiation , which conducts voluntary mediation in the event of a dispute over the value of land expropriated by a public authority. If no settlement is reached, the matter may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The Conservation Review Board , which conducts proceedings where there are disputes concerning properties that may demonstrate cultural heritage value or interest, or disputes surrounding archaeological licensing. After determining a matter, the Board then makes recommendations to the final decision-making authority in the particular case, either a local municipal council or the Minister of Culture.
The Environmental Review Tribunal , which hears applications and appeals under numerous environmental and planning statutes including the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, the Environmental Protection Act, the Ontario Water Resources Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. The Tribunal also functions as the Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office to hear development permit appeals and Niagara Escarpment Plan amendment applications for this protected World Biosphere Reserve, and serves as the Office of Consolidated Hearings to hear applications for joint hearings where separate hearings before more than one tribunal would otherwise be required.
The Ontario Municipal Board , which hears applications and appeals in relation to a range of municipal planning, financial and land matters including official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, land compensation, development charges, electoral ward boundaries, municipal finance, aggregate resources and other issues assigned to the Board by numerous Ontario statutes.

22 The two ELTO tribunals which were not already under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Attorney General were moved to that Ministry. This was seen as reflecting the role administrative tribunals play in the broader justice system. It was also seen as an indication that tribunals are justice agencies, independent from line ministries, as opposed to bodies delivering government programs.
23 The establishment of this cluster followed an extensive consultation process and analysis undertaken in 2005-2006 by the then Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Kevin Whitaker (now the Hon. Mr. Justice Whitaker of the Superior Court of Justice). See the Interim Report of the Agency Cluster Facilitator for the Municipal, Environment and Land Planning Tribunals, January 31, 2007 and the Final Report, August 22, 2007.
24 Supra , n. 6.

(a) Synopsis of Key Features and Benefits

While the legislative record is very limited, it may be safe to assume that the Tribunals Act reflects the tribunal modernization goals that have been underway in Ontario for some time without a generic statutory underpinning. These goals have been articulated in academic writing and symposiums25, in the work of organizations such as the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR), in government directives related to tribunal governance and in some earlier legislation26. They have included accessibility, fairness, professionalization, proportionality, timely resolution of disputes, principled decision making supported by clear, concise and intelligible reasons, mechanisms to enhance a tribunal’s jurisprudential coherence and, overall, being user centred. These goals and their related core values can be understood to be part of broader classes of objectives such as access to justice, accountability, and independence.

The structural model being given effect through Ontario’s first clusters, while unique and still in its early days, and while creating some particular challenges, has a number of features which may advance these goals. Key features of the model, seen through the lens of ELTO’s early days, include:

25 See for example the papers collected as of 2007 at http://www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/Conferences/Administrative_Justice_Bibliography/ajb.htm#1.
26 For example, the legal obligation to appoint members to a tribunal only after a competitive process based on statutorily-mandated criteria related to the tribunal’s work and procedures was first seen in Ontario in the 2006 amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code (see section 32(3) of the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, Ch. H.19, as amended). Other provisions of that legislation created a legal framework for a tribunal-led, activist approach to the conduct of proceedings and the resolution of claims, demonstrating confidence in the maturity of tribunals as independent actors within the broader justice system.
27 See n. 6, supra.
28 Pursuant to the current ELTO position description, an Associate Chair “is a member of ELTO’s senior management team and assists in building and leading the ELTO cluster of tribunals” in addition to providing jurisprudential leadership for and day-to-day oversight [but not being the delegated head] of one or more of ELTO’s constituent tribunals.
29 The ELTO position description for Associate Chairs also states that an Associate regularly briefs the Executive Chair and provides recommendations on cases and issues arising in a tribunal which are of major significance, have a high public impact, a significant impact on procedural or substantive jurisprudence or the resources required from a tribunal or the parties, affect the jurisdiction of the tribunal or raise issues of cluster-wide relevance, including the assignment of particular adjudicative expertise or the utilization of cross-appointees, or involve complaints or requests for reconsideration or review.

30 For example, ELTO’s professional development plan will feature ELTO-wide programs offered to members of all tribunals. Although, as appropriate, tribunal-specific programs will also be offered, they will be priorized, developed and coordinated through the pan-ELTO professional development committee, which will also identify opportunities for broader participation in such programs by members of other ELTO tribunals.
31 In a cluster, expertise can be seen as including the experience and knowledge of all adjudicators in the cluster, just as within a single tribunal expertise can (and should) be seen as being that of the tribunal institutionally rather than only that of any given tribunal member who presides over a case. Indeed, the doctrine of deference to tribunal expertise makes little sense unless that expertise is seen as inhering in the tribunal’s historical and collective experience in the field rather than in each appointee to it, however new to the tribunal or whatever their background.

32 These mechanisms directly support the above rationale for the deference which is shown to expert tribunals.

(b) Some Current Challenges

The above matters speak to the potential benefits of Ontario’s approach to clustering tribunals, with specific reference to the early ELTO experience. However, compelling as the theory of clustering may be, and despite the encouragement offered by some of the related experience elsewhere, there are a myriad of small and large management and leadership challenges involved in building a strong, functioning cluster which is respected both internally and externally, and can achieve the goals of efficiency, access to justice and subject matter effectiveness. Highlights among them, having regard to the early experience at ELTO, are the following:

33 See, for example, the observation of Justice Brian J. Preston that “[a] one-stop shop also facilitates better quality and innovative decision-making in both substance and procedure by cross-fertilization between different classes of jurisdiction”, in “Operating an Environmental Court: the Experience of the Land and Environmental Court of New South Wales”, a paper delivered as the Environmental Commission of Trinidad and Tobago Inaugural Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Law, (at page 26 of the text): also published in (2008) 25 EPLJ 385.
34 In this connection it is useful to recall that one of the defining features of Ontario’s clustering model is that the clustered tribunals remain specialized and expert in their fields (see n. 6, supra , and accompanying text) and are not merged. Although, as a result, the impact of the cluster should be seen as enriching that expertise, not diluting it, communications challenges will remain until clustering is further evolved and better understood.

35 See Grand River Conservation Authority v Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario (Ministry of Transportation), Ontario Municipal Board, unreported, April 23, 2010.
36 See n. 5, above.

3. Clustering’s Potential to Advance Tribunal Modernization and Access to Justice

Assuming that these current challenges can be met, there is reason to believe that tribunal modernization can be effectively advanced through the Ontario approach to clustering tribunals. It shares much of that potential with other approaches to structural reform, but with the key difference that each of the clusters of tribunals is relatively small, and has been brought together because of various linkages in the matters its constituent tribunals deal with. These factors provide a more manageable scale for the leadership of the cluster, as well as offering some initial connections among the tribunals which can be used as openings to bring tribunal members and stakeholders together on some common ground and understandings.

As was outlined in the conference presentation from which this paper is drawn37, clustering may similarly create a climate in which tribunals, with limited or no changes to funding or mandate38, may more easily bring forward a significant number of access to justice initiatives. These range from issues of supporting and enabling effective self-representation through to matters involving how expert evidence is received and used, the potential for tribunals to play a more active role in shaping and managing proceedings, and the increased accessibility which can flow from the engagement of non-traditional stakeholders. And, of course, improved adjudicative skills, including those enhanced though an increased understanding of the connections among issues coming to the cluster, or of the varying contexts from which they arise, will themselves advance access to substantive justice.

In addition, based on the initial experience in Ontario, and having regard to larger scale restructuring initiatives elsewhere, there are a number of reasons why Ontario’s clustering model has the potential to overcome the inertia – and sometimes the resistance – which otherwise can frustrate efforts to modernize tribunals and improve access to justice in the administrative justice sector.

First, at least in the early days, the creation of a new structure creates an expectation of change. While the prospect of change may not always be welcomed, both internally and externally amongst those who have found ways to make the system work to advance their personal, commercial or policy interests, clustering, like amalgamation, is generally part of an effort to improve the quality of administrative justice. Hence, change which occurs in this context may more readily be seen as a positive initiative.

Second, creating a new structure designed to improve overall effectiveness and efficiency will necessarily lead to a need to reflect upon existing tribunal process, procedures and policies, and thus provide an understandable context for proposed changes.

Third, there is an economy of scale in bringing an access to justice initiative to a group of tribunals. Much of the policy development, consultation, rules drafting and communications planning can be unified, especially where tribunals with related subject matter jurisdictions are involved. Similarly, only one leadership team is needed to advance and manage the change agenda. And, for both of these reasons, conflicting approaches and messaging in rolling out access initiatives for a number of tribunals can be avoided, creating a climate in which the changes can be considered on their merits, without small differences creating undue distractions 39.

Fourth, a clustered or amalgamated group of tribunals is likely to contain a larger pool of experienced and creative adjudicators and staff to draw upon for ideas as modernization and access initiatives are being developed. As well, exercises such as developing a joint statement of mandate, mission and core values for the cluster can lead members and staff to think about their roles and responsibilities in a broader context. In the result, each individual’s appreciation of an issue like access to justice and the role they can play in it is deepened. Overall, the design of implementing initiatives will inevitably be improved when expertise from numerous fields and backgrounds is brought to bear on that work.

Fifth, as access initiatives are rolled out, the potential to develop a critical mass of those who know how to implement them effectively is much greater than in a single tribunal. Further efficiencies, and greater consistency, can also flow when a larger cadre of adjudicators and staff can be trained together on new approaches, ideas and understandings, and can support each other in using them.

37 See the 11 examples noted at pages 13-21 of that paper, supra n. 1.
38 The earlier paper expressly excluded consideration of matters which required new government initiatives or funding such as the expansion of legal aid or the provision of intervener funding. Instead, it focussed on initiatives which would largely be within the control of tribunals themselves.
39 While the economies of scale outlined above argue for large scale amalgamations, there can also be similar benefits in smaller scale clusters, provided there is some inherent and widely-accepted logic to the grouping. Where that is the case, having regard to the subject matters dealt with by the grouped tribunals, and most particularly to their amenability to the same access initiatives (and especially with regard to the style and pace of adjudication), support for change may be perhaps be generated even more easily in a cluster model than in a wholesale amalgamation of a jurisdiction’s tribunals. It nonetheless remains the case that proceeding by way of clustering assumes that a jurisdiction has a substantial number of senior tribunal chairs who can lead these kinds of initiatives.


Overall, building a modern adjudicative tribunal requires attention to a host of considerations: the purposes behind the establishment of the tribunal; the nature of the disputes and parties that may come before the tribunal; the potential for tribunal structures, practices and procedures to advance or impede access; and the recruitment, training and retention of highly qualified staff and adjudicators.

And, it requires attention to the need to ensure that in all they do tribunals are user-centred, and maintain their focus on core values of integrity, transparency, accessibility and fairness. Tribunal structures and operations must reflect the reality that tribunals play a critical role within the justice system and, in many ways, are the real face of justice for a community.

Despite the challenges which clustering presents, some of which are inherent in any organizational change, it seems clear that when properly conceived, implemented and resourced, clustering can advance these values while providing efficiencies in infrastructure usage. When it draws upon the broad base of experience, expertise and perspectives which members and staff of the constituent tribunals can bring to the table, it also offers the potential to be built in a way which increases the effectiveness with which each clustered tribunal applies expertise to the subject matters before it and which increases access to justice.