ARTICLE: A WAVERING COMMITMENT? ADMINISTRATIVE INDEPENDENCE AND COLLABORATIVE GOVERNANCE IN ONTARIO'S ADJUDICATIVE TRIBUNALS ACCOUNTABILITY LEGISLATION Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2010 University of Windsor
Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice

ARTICLE: A WAVERING COMMITMENT? ADMINISTRATIVE INDEPENDENCE AND COLLABORATIVE GOVERNANCE IN ONTARIO'S ADJUDICATIVE TRIBUNALS ACCOUNTABILITY LEGISLATION

2010

Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice

28 Windsor Y.B. Access Just. 285

Author

Laverne Jacobs *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

The Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 1 [ATAGAA] forms part of a modernization initiative of the current Ontario Liberal government. This initiative aims to strengthen Ontario's laws, regulations and systems by increasing transparency, accountability and efficiency within the province without compromising administrative independence. 2 The statute is unique in Canada. Ontario is the only jurisdiction that has attempted to address the major public concerns about the accountability of administrative tribunals through one comprehensive, tailored statute. 3

This paper offers a critique of ATAGAA. Through it, I suggest that the legislation has opened the door to certain avenues of ensuring accountability that are potentially quite promising. Specifically, the statute shows an approach to tribunal governance that is collaborative in nature, by providing room for input on a range of tribunal accountability matters from the tribunals that are being governed. ATAGAA fails, nevertheless, to address many critical contemporary concerns relating to tribunal accountability and independence, especially those regarding the accountability of the executive branch of government to administrative tribunals to ensure that the public is adequately served. Of equal concern is that ATAGAA presents an underlying philosophy to accountability that is inconsistent. Despite its attempt at promoting a collaborative governance approach, the statute tends to favour the idea of enforcing accountability from the outside rather than fostering elements of internal tribunal culture that could lead to more authentic and durable measures of accountability.

This paper proceeds in three parts. Part II provides an ...
 
 
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