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Ontario’s Administrative Tribunal Clusters: A Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty for Administrative Justice?

(2012) 12 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 157

48 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2012 Last revised: 30 Oct 2013

Lorne Sossin

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Jamie Baxter

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law; Yale University - Law School

Date Written: February 5, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: administrative, tribunal cluster, justice

JEL Classification: K10, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Sossin, Lorne and Baxter, Jamie, Ontario’s Administrative Tribunal Clusters: A Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty for Administrative Justice? (February 5, 2012). (2012) 12 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 157. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2099751

Lorne Sossin (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Jamie Baxter

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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