Tribunals and Guidelines: Exploring the Relationships between Fairness and Legitimacy in Administrative Decision-Making

Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 46, pp. 283-307, 2006

26 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2011  

Lorne Sossin

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

France Houle

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to address two questions: why do administrative tribunals such as the Immigration Refugee Board resort to developing guidelines, and what are the principles and values which legitimize these initiatives? The role of tribunals in policy-making and/or policy-implementing raises important questions. For example, to whom are tribunals accountable for the development and application of guidelines where the functions of a tribunal - especially the adjudicative functions - are intended to be independent of government?

The authors seek to understand better the dynamics of tribunals’ role in the policy process. They propose a classification of guidelines based on the function they perform in administrative proceedings and provide an analysis of the normative framework underlying guidelines. The authors explore how a legal analysis of guidelines might shed on the theory and practice of public administration. The authors conclude that in the absence of a nuanced understanding of the legal status of guidelines, the relationship between administrative practice and the rule of law remains uncertain and unstable.

Keywords: Immigration Refugee Board, tribunals and policy-making, tribunal accountability, administrative practice and the rule of law

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Sossin, Lorne and Houle, France, Tribunals and Guidelines: Exploring the Relationships between Fairness and Legitimacy in Administrative Decision-Making (2006). Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 46, pp. 283-307, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1911419

Lorne Sossin (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

France Houle

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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