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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1816489
 
 

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I Can See Clearly Now: Videoconference Hearings and the Legal Limit on How Tribunals Allocate Resources


Lorne Sossin


York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Zimra Yetnikoff


affiliation not provided to SSRN

2007

Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 247, 2007

Abstract:     
Videoconferencing has generated ambivalence in the legal community. Some have heralded its promise of unprecedented access to justice, especially for geographically remote communities. Others, however, have questioned whether videoconferencing undermines fairness. The authors explore the implications of videoconferencing through the case study of the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Tribunal, which is one of the busiest adjudicative bodies in Canada. This analysis highlights concerns both with videoconferencing in principle and in practice. While such concerns traditionally have been the province of public administration, the authors argue that a tribunal’s allocation of resources and the sufficiency of its budget are also core concerns of administrative law. Administrative law reaches beyond conventional doctrines of procedural fairness on the one hand and substantive rationality on the other. How the legislature structures and funds decision-making bodies is not just a matter of political preference but also of legal sufficiency. The common law, the Charter of Rights, and unwritten constitutional principles such as the rule of law and access to justice all provide potential constraints both on governments and tribunals as to the organization and conduct of adjudicative hearings, especially in settings like the Landlord and Tenant Tribunal, where the rights of vulnerable people are at stake. While a challenge to the videoconferencing practices of the Landlord and Tenant Tribunal has yet to be brought, the authors conclude that eventually the intersection of tribunal resources with the fairness and reasonableness of that tribunal’s decision-making will reach the courts. How the courts resolve these challenges may represent the next frontier of administrative law.

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Date posted: April 21, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Sossin, Lorne and Yetnikoff, Zimra, I Can See Clearly Now: Videoconference Hearings and the Legal Limit on How Tribunals Allocate Resources (2007). Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 247, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1816489

Contact Information

Lorne Sossin (Contact Author)
York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
Zimra Yetnikoff
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


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