Dalhousie Law Journal


policy commission, investigative commission, inquiry management, Ocean Ranger Inquiry, adjudication, MacDonald Commission, Canada


I think whether the commission is a policy commission or an investigative commission or both, as the case was with the Ocean Ranger Inquiry, a commission almost inevitably is drawn into an adversarial context. I think in the case of an investigative commission, the parties, who have interests at stake that are being investigated and adjudicated upon, will tend, over time, to start to question the validity of the commission. Likewise, a policy commission frequently is criticized as soon as it is announced or, as in the case of the MacDonald Commission, even before it was announced as being a dodge behind which the government of the day is hiding because it has a failure of public policy. This adversarial context exacerbates the difficulty of managing what is a difficult process even without the glare of the adversarial context.