Mediation-Arbitration in Ontario: Labour Relations, Human Rights, and Beyond?
29 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 30, 2017
In this paper, we examine how administrative law decision-makers are combining adjudication and mediation to create an innovative, hybrid model of dispute resolution. While at first glance, a combined mediation-adjudication function appears to conflict with fundamental administrative law principles such as fairness and impartiality, the model has achieved tremendous success in the field, in a range of administrative law proceedings. We consider the implications of mediation-adjudication and how decision-makers have addressed these fundamental administrative law principles to develop a viable, fair, and expeditious dispute resolution process. This paper focuses on the use of mediation-adjudication in grievance arbitrations in Ontario and how that model has been adapted by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (‘‘HRTO”) in adjudications under the Ontario Human Rights Code.1 These examples suggest that mediation-adjudication may be well-suited to a range of administrative law proceedings, particularly where (as we discuss in more detail, below) one or both parties are facing some level of uncertainty and a range of possible outcomes at adjudication.
Keywords: Administrative Law, Adjudication, Mediation, Dispute Resolution, Grievance Arbitrations, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Ontario Human Rights Code
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