Ontario’s Administrative Tribunal Clusters: A Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty for Administrative Justice?
Administrative Law, Administrative Tribunals, Administrative Justice
Claimants who come to administrative tribunals in Canada, as elsewhere, expecting a convenient forum to resolve their problems may discover that institutional resources and expertise, their own knowledge of the system, and their statutory entitlements and legal rights are fragmented between agencies with diverse norms and mandates. The provincial government of Ontario in Canada has recently enacted a novel strategy called tribunal clustering to confront these challenges. This paper explores the structure and rationales behind Ontario’s new tribunal clusters and compares these with reform models in Australia and the United Kingdom. The authors argue that tribunal clusters offer a flexible approach to institutional change that is responsive to the needs of users and can ultimately improve access and the quality of decision making. In their view, clusters represent a promising first step – but not a final destination – to achieve a more effective and coherent system of administrative justice.
Lorne Sossin & Jamie Baxter, “Ontario’s Administrative Tribunal Clusters: A Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty for Administrative Justice?” (2012) 12:1 OCLJ 157-187.