My name is Charles Mwewa. I have been law/paralegal professor/instructor in Ontario for over 10 years. During this more than 10-year-space, I have lectured on all the over-22 major courses in law, from Intro to Law, to the Law of Evidence, to Criminal Law to Immigration & Refugee, Ethics and more...
If you have previously applied to the Ontario Paralegal Licensing Process you should not re-apply online. Please contact the Law Society to obtain further information and instructions on how to proceed by calling 416-947-3315 or toll free at 1-800-668-7380 ext. 3315. (If you currently hold a lawyer licence in Ontario, you must notify Membership Services at the Law Society prior to obtaining your paralegal licence.)
This application will allow you to apply to the Paralegal Licensing Process and to write the February/July/October 2020 or February 2021 Licensing Examinations.
It is recommended to those who wish to select the February 2021 sitting that they instead apply in the October 2020 intake period. Please also note that candidates who select the earliest February sitting (2020) will be placed in the earlier 2019-20 Licensing Process cycle and will be required to complete their licensing requirements within two cycles (instead of three). Please contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department if you require further information on the impact of selecting a Licensing Examination in an earlier licensing cycle.
Part I - Completing the Online Application
Part II - Filing the Application
1. Joshua, a paralegal, is meeting with his client, Max, for the first time. Max is a landlord of an apartment building and is having problems with a tenant. What step should Joshua take next?
(a) Research the latest landlord and tenant cases.
(b) Ask Max for a money retainer.
(c) Send the tenant a letter.
(d) Ascertain Max’s objectives.
2. Dave is involved in litigation against his neighbour. He instructs Brigitte, his paralegal, not to give the other side any extra time to meet deadlines. What should Brigitte do in response to these instructions from Dave?
(a) Follow his instructions.
(b) Advise Dave that she cannot deny reasonable requests if his rights are not prejudiced.
(c) Write a letter to the other side informing them that she will not grant any extensions.
(d) Make a private agreement with the other side to grant each other extensions in all circumstances.
3. When should a paralegal open a client file?
(a) When a client provides the paralegal with a money retainer.
(b) When a client instructs the paralegal to commence an action.
(c) When the paralegal files documents with the court.
(d) When a prospective client provides confidential information to the paralegal.
4. Before accepting a joint retainer, what must a paralegal tell the prospective joint clients about her obligations in the event that conflicts develop between the joint clients?
(a) She may have to withdraw.
(b) She may mediate the conflicts.
(c) She will apply to court to determine whom to represent.
(d) She will take instructions from one client only, while continuing to act for both.
5. In what type of matter can a paralegal accept a contingency fee?
(a) A summary conviction matter.
(b) A spousal support matter.
(c) A provincial offences matter.
(d) A workers' compensation matter.
6. When should a conflicts check be performed by a paralegal?
(a) When a new party becomes involved in the matter.
(b) When the matter is completed.
(c) When the client pays his bill.
(d) When the retainer has been accepted by the paralegal.
7. Elliott, a paralegal, hires a collection agency to collect his fees from a former client. What information, if any, can Elliott disclose?
(a) No information, as all client information is confidential.
(b) The client's entire file.
(c) Only the information contained in the court record.
(d) Only as much information as is necessary to collect his fees.
8. What is the best method for a paralegal to communicate with a client in a timely and effective manner?
(a) Copy the client on all correspondence when received and sent.
(b) Show the client all correspondence at the next meeting.
(c) Include copies of correspondence with the final reporting letter.
(d) Provide copies of correspondence on the request of the client.
9. Which of the following subject matters falls under provincial jurisdiction in the Canadian legal system?
(b) Interprovincial transportation.
(c) Offences under the Criminal Code.
10. Which one of the following employees would work for a Schedule 1 employer under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act?
(a) Construction supervisor.
(b) Insurance agent.
(c) Bank teller.
(d) Train engineer.
11. What is the most helpful source of the procedural rules before an administrative tribunal in Ontario?
(a) The Rules of the Small Claims Court, by analogy.
(b) The tribunal’s rules of practice.
(c) The registrar of the tribunal.
(d) The prior decisions of the tribunal.
12. The concept of “duty to accommodate” originates from which one of the following statutes?
(a) Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
(b) Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
(c) Occupational Health and Safety Act.
(d) Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
13. What section of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 gives the Landlord and Tenant Board the discretion to refuse to grant an eviction order?
(a) Subsection 88(1).
(b) Subsection 83(1).
(c) Subsection 74(2).
(d) Subsection 77(1).
14. ABC Ltd. (ABC), a manufacturer of employee uniforms, retains Tamika, a paralegal, to represent ABC in a contract dispute with XYZ Inc. (XYZ). In 2012, a contract was entered into in which ABC was responsible to supply a minimum of 1800 uniforms annually. In 2014, XYZ laid off 300 employees and only paid for 1500 uniforms. What type of damages should Tamika claim for ABC?
15. Which one of the following statements about a defence to a plaintiff’s claim is true?
(a) It must only admit or deny the allegations made in the plaintiff’s claim.
(b) It must be accompanied by all documents to which it refers.
(c) If the defendant does not specifically admit the allegations made in the plaintiff’s claim, they are deemed to be denied.
(d) If the defendant intends to prove a different version of the facts pleaded in the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant must plead them.
16. What document requires personal service or an alternative to personal service?
(a) Amended defence.
(b) Defendant’s claim.
(c) Notice of motion.
(d) Offer to settle.
17. A husband and wife retain a paralegal to bring a Small Claims Court action to recover a payment on their travel insurance policy. The insurance company has denied their claim, saying that the husband failed to disclose a pre-existing medical condition. The wife’s evidence will be that she was present when her husband verbally disclosed this information to the travel insurance agent. What is the best way to prepare the wife for her examination-in-chief at the trial?
(a) Advise her that she will only have to tell the judge what she stated at the settlement conference.
(b) Give her a list of questions and answers to memorize before the trial.
(c) Put questions to her in a conversational manner with respect to the facts and issues in the case.
(d) Tell her to emphasize the disclosure of the medical condition at every opportunity during the examination-in-chief.
18. Ruth is a paralegal hired by David to represent him at trial on a speeding charge. Who must call evidence of the speed David was travelling?
(a) David because he was driving the car.
(b) Ruth because she is the paralegal for the accused.
(c) The prosecution because it bears the burden of proof.
(d) The police officer who made the observation.
19. Which one of the following documents sets the criminal process in motion?
(a) An arrest warrant, based on reasonable and probable grounds.
(b) An information, laid by a private citizen.
(c) An indictment, laid by a police officer on reasonable grounds.
(d) A certificate to the defendant.
1. Read, Read, Read
Read the materials as many times as you can possibly read. The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) or by whatever name it may be called after a decision to change its name has passed, designs questions based on the materials presented to the candidates. All the questions that the LSO prepares come from the same materials. Reading the materials is the first step towards acing the Paralegal Licensing Exam.
The Licensing Exam is an open-book exam. This means that the materials will be available to the examination-taker. However, this is also the danger of having an open-book exam. The candidate taking the exam should not depend on the materials during the licensing exam. The materials should have been internalized (or what may be termed “becoming one with the materials”). Internalizing the materials ensures that the candidate will not depend on the materials for answers. If the candidate is still dependent upon the materials during the examination, valuable time will be wasted attempting to locate the appropriate pages and searching vociferously for the answers. Becoming one with the materials enables the candidate to quickly locate the possible answers without trouble.
The candidate must study to know the materials. What sets this exam apart from most standardized exams is that the content of the examination is already provided. The candidate is only attending the examination to elicit the best response to the questions provided. The secret, therefore, is in reading, knowing and understanding the materials before the examination. The candidate, who has read and known her materials well, will not waste valuable time during the examination searching for answers from page to page.
When a candidate has read the materials, known them and internalized them, she will be rest assured that when a question shows up in the examination, she will not waste time going everywhere. She will be able to maximize time and therefore select as many correct responses as possible. She will also be restful throughout the entire examination. Relaxing and not panicking, is a very durable strategy. Because the exam is percentile based, every correct response counts. It is vital to capitalize on maximizing correct responses than avoiding the wrong ones.
The correct strategy will include the following dos and don’ts:
· Read the instruction first before attempting the question
· Answer only the question being asked
· Skip any question that might reasonably take over 30 seconds of your time trying to figure out the response
· Move on to the next question if you cannot reasonably answer the current question without wasting time; mark the skipped question or bubble in the letter of the day in case you run out of time. (If you run out of time at the end of the examination, return to each question you skipped and bubble in with only one letter, so-called your lucky letter or letter of the day).
· Do not attempt the difficult questions first
· Do not spend more time attempting to make a question work
· Do not import your outside understanding into the question; everything asked for is in the materials
· Do not use the examination as a study exercise; the materials are only to be consulted when you have doubt or you need to confirm a response
You cannot give only a lame commitment to your licensing examination quest. Make it a full-time job. If you cannot do so, consider deferring to another licensing examination date. The Law Society provides three chances for taking the examination: February, August, and October. You need to spare, at a minimum, two full months (or eight weeks) to the preparation for the exam. Below is the proposed eight-week schedule for acing the licensing examination. This is only a suggestion; individual circumstances may vary.
Week 1: Skim through the materials
Week 2: Read for structural understanding
Week 3: Read for functional understanding
Week 4: Read for content absorption
Week 5: Read for content analysis
Week 6: Read for self-assessment
Week 7: Answer the questions
Week 8: Read the materials and answer the questions
The Law Society tests on both the understanding of the principles of law and their applicability in particular situations. Most of the principles may not be stated categorically but they could easily be inferred in the set of anecdotes (small narratives or story passages or factual situations) designed for analysis. The knowledge of both the legal principles and their application in context is required. Therefore, a keen candidate must read, understand, know and become one with the principles contained in the materials. The candidate should also be prepared to identify such principles in the question sets and be ready to correctly choose the best answer.
The author of this book has designed questions that meet both the principle retention and the practical application of the law. Some questions in this book may have only two choices, and others four, and still others more than four. Questions with fewer choices are meant to highlight the principles, and those with more, the application of the principles.
Key Ethical Words to Remember
a) Accommodation: An action taken or a change made to allow a person or group protected by the Human Rights Code to engage in any of the activities covered by the Code—for example, employment.
b) Acting in good faith: Making legitimate and honest efforts to meet your obligations in a given situation, without trying to mislead other persons or parties, or attempting to gain an unfair advantage over others, through legal technicalities or otherwise.
c) Acting with courtesy and civility: Being polite, respectful, and considerate of others
d) Best efforts: Doing what is in your power to ensure that an undertaking is fulfilled, without assuming personal responsibility (guideline 3, paragraph 3).
e) Breach of undertaking: Failure to fulfill an undertaking.
f) Conflict of interest: Any circumstance that may negatively affect a paralegal’s ability to exercise independent judgment on behalf of a client.
g) Discrimination:Unfair treatment by one person of another person on any of the prohibited grounds under the Code.
h) Fulfill an undertaking: Complete the requirements of the undertaking.
i) Harassment:Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
j) Mediation:A non-adversarial process in which a qualified and impartial third party (the mediator) helps the parties to a dispute resolve their differences.
k) Outside interest: Any profession, business, occupation, or other outside interest, including holding public office, engaged in by a paralegal concurrently with the provision of legal services
l) Prohibited grounds: Grounds upon which discrimination is prohibited by the Human Rights Code: race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, or disability. (See Human Rights Code, s. 1.)
m) Sexual harassment: One incident or a series of incidents involving unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
n) Undertaking: An unequivocal, personal promise to perform a certain act
o) Tickler System: A paper or electronic system of upcoming due and limitations dates or tasks to be completed.
TIPS TO REMEMBER:
1. Know the venue of the exam ahead of time
2. Have all the requirements way in advance so that you don’t panic at exam day
3. During exam, relax and trying not to be distracted; read the question first to understand what they want you to do. Then read the questions. Use the process of elimination (POE) if answers sound to be similar.
4. Remember that questions will be framed around a story; your job is to understand what aspect of ethics is concerned. For example, a paralegal will be trying to see if he can deposit trust money into his personal account. Your job is to know that client moneys must be deposited into a trust account.
5. Give all the topics 100% time and concentration. But give accounting and trust accounts more time. Read and understand which records, for example, need be kept for six years or ten years. Read and understand trust reconciliations; disbursement; and basically study By-law 9
6. The exam is open-book, but you cannot take out any book you use in the exam. Organize your notes well so you can know where to go should you need to make reference. But note that this will not help you much if you did not read the materials (or the lessons I provided) and understood them.
7. Read and follow LSO instructions regarding what you can/can’t bring. Even if it seems unreasonable, follow the instructions.
8. Plan to get there early. No, REALLY early. Bring a magazine you don’t mind tossing in the garbage and read if you are waiting, but better early than hung up in Toronto traffic and arriving late.
9. Avoid stressed out students. While you’re waiting, try to avoid little clumps of people who are putting out negative or stressful scenarios. You’re going to pass, don’t let them ruin your confidence.
10. Organize the materials you’re bringing. Having some sort of cheat sheet/table of contents that tells you where the info you need the most is located, can help. Likewise, you can toss any parts of the bylaws that don’t apply to paralegals. There will not be questions on how LSO regulates L1 licensees.
11. Expect to wait a minimum of 2-3 weeks for your results.
12. Do not expect to get a mark on how you did. They only give marks to people who have failed; everyone who passes just gets the next paperwork needed to complete the licensing process.
During the Exam
13. Stick to your time management plan. If you think that a question will take more than 1.5 minutes to answer, consider skipping it until the end. Each question you answer in less than a minute and a half adds time to your time bank, and you can best decide how to allocate that “extra” time at the end of the exam when you can see how many questions are left unanswered.
14. Look up answers to questions dealing with fine details (file/financial management in the By-laws for instance) but your general knowledge should be good enough that you don’t need to look up the answers for most questions.
15. IF IT IS PERMITTED, consider bringing a pack of small post it notes to the exam with you so you can mark questions that you’ve skipped in an obvious way, and then return to them quickly when you’re ready.
16. Be careful filling out the exam answer sheet (the one with the little bubbles to fill in). Check regularly to make sure you have filled in the bubble that matches the question number, it’s easy to forget you skipped a question and end up with the filled in dots misaligned.
17. Standardized tests are meant to be objective, not subjective. LSO does not care what your opinion is, they just want to know if you recognize the right answer.
18. Read the question, answer what it asks. Don’t answer what you think it asks. Don’t answer what it implies. Don’t worry about “what if” something was different that wouldn’t be right. Just answer the question as it was written and move on to the next one.
19. If you’re stuck on a question think of LSO’s mandate: Protect the Public. The client in the question is the Public: Which answer gives the client the most protection? Which answer gives the client the most help? Which answer makes sure the client gets the most/best information? The answer that does one or all three of those will be the most correct answer.
20. Maximize raw scores. The exam is set in such a way that only correct scores count. So, concentrate on getting the easy, doable questions first. In the early seconds of the exam, scan or skim through the questions and choose those that seem easily doable. Do those first. The more questions you get right, the better placed you are to acing the licensing exam. If you find a question difficult, do not waste time trying to make it easy, bubble in a letter of your choice on the answer booklet and move on (but mark it so that if you have extra time at the end, you could return to it; if you run out of time, the bubbled in answer remains). Always go in the exam with your “lucky letter of the day.” When the five-minute call is made to drop the pencils, you would have bubbled in the letter of the day. Remember, you pass the exam on a percentile basis and not on cut-of-point basis. Therefore, any raw point counts and may be the difference between acing the exam or failing it. The secret is also the most commonsensical thing to do, DO NOT LEAVE ANY QUESTION BLANK, EVEN IF YOU HAVE RUN OUT OF TIME, FILL EACH BLANK WITH A BUBBLED-IN LETTER OF THE DAY. If anyone of those spots have the letter of the day as the correct answer, you would have moved closer to acing the exam than if you left it blank!
In order to pin administrative tribunals into the legal framework, that is, administrative law, we will first briefly review the concept of law. What is law? Braverman,quoting Sir John Salmond defines law as presenting “itself primarily and essentially as a system of rigid rules.” There are many philosophical approaches to the study and understanding of law as there are many ways of skinning a cat. Salmond brings to us the aspect of law akin to the understanding of legal systems in general: rules. Law is, thus, rules which govern society’s behaviour and which are enforceable by the courts and administrative tribunals. And although law is related to rules in general, the latter may not be enforceable in courts. For example, we may find rules of etiquette in homes or at schools and in many places, and these are not, strictly speaking, law. The substantive aspect of the rules which are enforceable by the courts deals with people’s rights and obligation. Other rules deal with procedure, and this branch of law may be termed as procedural law.
The Canadian legal system originated from England. And this system comprises both the common law and equity. Common law means the law applied to the whole country in common by the King’s ordinary courts, as contrasted with the ancient customary laws which varied from place to place and were administered in each locality free of central control. A Northman by the name of William the Conqueror captured England in 1066. The centralized judicial system established in the two centuries after the conquest resulted in a body of new and uniform rules called the Common Law.
The new rules were laid down and developed by the decisions of the judges in particular cases. Centralized records were kept and a systematic body of doctrine began to develop. When the old local jurisdictions were forgotten, the “common law” came to mean the ordinary judge-made law of the royal courts. This was then contrasted with statute law (or Parliament-made law). In Canada, statute law is also made by the provincial legislatures. The three Canadian territories of Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut also make local laws in their legislatures. The kind of statute law made in territorial legislatures is known as Ordinances.
Equity, on the other hand, came about because certain legal interests were not protected by the courts of the common law. The king appointed the Chancellor over the Chancery, a royal officer who dispensed the Crown’s residuary powers of redressing wrong, to preside in the matters of equity (or fairness). It was the Chancellor who first compelled trustees to carry out their trusts, and devised equitable remedies. In this respect “common law” came to be contrasted with “equity” as well as with statute.
Rights which the common law courts recognized and enforced became rights at common law, or simply as “legal rights.” Rights enforced by the Chancery, but not at common law, became equitable rights. The Chancellor proceeded on grounds of equity or good conscience. He would grant these special remedies on the basis of fairness. And with time, equity developed into a separate branch of the legal system. It modified the common law and led to the fundamental distinction between legal and equitable interests. Although common law and equity are still different concepts, they are both applied equally in Canadian courts and administrative tribunals.
The Ontario’s dispute resolution system comprises both of the traditional rights-based dispute and the interest-based dispute resolution processes. Interest-based, also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism is a non-confrontational method of resolving disputes by use of strategies like negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. These strategies may also be employed in the rights-based system. For example, Rule 24.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure establishes mandatory mediation for case managed civil, non-family actions. Rules 24.1 and 75.1 apply in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor. Rule 75.1 brings contested estates, trusts and substitute decisions matters within mandatory mediation.
Mandatory information programs (MIPs) may be available at family court locations across Ontario in cases of separation and divorce, as alternatives to litigation in Family Court, and so on. Rules 13 of the Small Claims Court mandates settlement conferences for defended actions. Section 4.8 of the Statutory Powers Procedures Act, establishes ADRs for administrative tribunals.
There are two broad rights-based dispute resolution systems in Ontario: Courts of law and administrative tribunals. The difference between the two is not just in terms of the substance covered, but primarily in terms of procedure. Courts follow strict rules of procedure, evidence and advocacy. They may have their proceedings presided over by judges, deputy judges or masters.
Administrative tribunals are created under the authority of parent or governing or enabling legislation. They may follow simplified procedures and their decisions are made by adjudicators, who are also known as Members. Most administrative tribunals are set up to be less formal, and sometimes less expensive, but not always. In most cases, administrative tribunals may be faster than the courts of law. Members at the administrative tribunals have specialized knowledge about the topics they decide. Judges have, in general, more general knowledge about many areas of law.
Legal practitioners in Ontario may practice in any of these two broad areas. Under the court stream there are three (3) areas of practice: Provincial Offences Act (POA) courts; Civil law courts (which include the Family Law courts); and criminal law courts.
The POA court is governed by the Provincial Offences Actand the Courts of Justice Actin terms of procedure. About twelve (12) statutes in respect to substantive law fall under the POA courts. These include the Highway Traffic Act (HTA), Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (C.A.I.A), Liquor License Act, Occupation Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Environmental Protection Act, Trespass to Property Act, Blind Persons’ Rights Act, Dog Owners’ Liability Act (DOLA), Municipal Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Canada Shipping Act, and Fisheries Act.
The civil law stream is governed by the Courts of Justice Act, supra, and the regulations created under it, in terms of procedure. There are three pieces of regulations (including the Family Court) that govern procedures. These are: Rules of Civil Procedures;Rules of the Small Claims Court;and Rules of the Family Court.Various substantive legislations govern civil actions, civil wrongs (torts) and contracts.
Under the administrative tribunal stream, legal professionals may appear before Members in agencies, boards, commissions, and tribunals. Each tribunal is established under a statute. Some common tribunals in Ontario are the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), the Licensing Appeal Tribunal (LAT), the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and others.
Ontario has numerous administrative tribunals including: The Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal; Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario; Assessment Review Board; and Child and Family Services Review Board. The others are the College of Nurses of Ontario Discipline Committee; College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario; College of Physiotherapists of Ontario; and Consent and Capacity Board. The Conservation Review Board; Environmental Review Tribunal; Financial Services Tribunal; Grievance Settlement Board; and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board are the others. Ontario also has the Health Services Appeal and Review Board; Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario; and the Labour Arbitration Awards. The Law Society Tribunal; Normal Farm Practices Protection Board; Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario; Ontario Civilian Police Commission; and Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators form another set of Ontario tribunals.
Others tribunals are Ontario College of Pharmacists Discipline Committee; Ontario Court of the Drainage Referee; Ontario Custody Review Board; Ontario Labor Relations Board; and Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal. There is also the Ontario Municipal Board; Ontario Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal; Ontario Physician Payment Review Board; and the Ontario Public Service Grievance Board. The Ontario Racing Commission; the Ontario Securities Commission; the Ontario Social Benefits Tribunal; the Ontario Special Education (English & French) Tribunal; and the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal; is another set of tribunals in Ontario.
To provide legal services or practice in any of these tribunals, the legal professional must be conversant with the legislation that governs that particular tribunal. That particular legislation will also create the rules applicable to that tribunal. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the legal professional to be familiar with the statute creating the tribunal, the rules created under that statute, and the standing procedures and guidelines made pursuant to those rules. The professional should also look to case law decided under that legislation and relevant textbooks written about the subject matter covered in that particular tribunal. Regardless of the administrative tribunal, all procedures are set in legislation. In Ontario, procedures for all administrative tribunals are contained in the Statutory Powers Procedures Act, supra. This statute empowers all administrative tribunals to make rules for use in administrative tribunals. Some rules may be made pursuant to the tribunal’s enabling legislation.
The Ontario tribunals’ authority to create rules comes from the SPPA. 46 rules apply to the tribunals, ten (10) of which apply to all tribunal clusters. The first cluster was born in 2010, the Environmental Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) which clustered the following tribunals: Assessment Review Board, Board of Negotiation, Conservation Review Board, Environmental Review Tribunal, and Ontario Municipal Board. Other clusters are: Safety Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO), which include: Animal Care Review Board, Fire Safety Commission, Licence Appeal Tribunal, Ontario Civilian Police Commission, and Ontario Parole Board. We also have the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO – launched in January 2011), comprising: The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Child and Family Services Review Board, Custody Review Board, Social Benefits Tribunal, Landlord and Tenant Board, Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and the Ontario Special Education Tribunals.
All the clusters were brought about by Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act (the “ATAGA”). ATAGA creates public documents, ethics policies, member accountability as well as codes of conduct for members. It makes rules regarding conflicts of interest rules, releases an annual report, and stipulates service standards.
Using the SJTO Common Rules (which applies to all cases in any SJTO tribunal and form part of the rules and procedures of respective tribunals to illustrate the applicability of cluster rules to tribunals under them). These SJTO rules are:
A1: Application: Rule A1 stipulates that the SJTO rules apply to the proceedings of the SJTO.
A2: Definitions: Rule A2 defines “rules and procedures” to include rules, practice directions, policies, guidelines and procedural directions; it also defines “Tribunal” as any SJTO tribunal or board.
A3: Interpretation: A3 stipulates that the SJTO rules should be liberally and purposively interpreted and applied in order to promote “fair, just and expeditious resolution of disputes,”…to allow party effective participation, and to “ensure that procedures, orders and directions are proportionate to the importance and complexity of the issues in the proceeding.” They also highlight the non-technical nature of rule interpretation as well as the fact that their interpretation and application must be consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
A4: Tribunal powers: A4 stipulates that, unless otherwise prohibited by a statute, the tribunal may exercise some or all of its powers at the request of a party or on its own initiative. It may also may vary or waive the application of any rule or procedure at the request of a party or on its own initiative.
A5: Accommodation of Human Rights Code–related needs: A5 stipulates that a “party, representative, witness or support person is entitled to accommodation of Human Rights Code–related needs by the tribunal and should notify the tribunal as soon as possible if accommodation is required.” The commonest Human Code accommodation has to do with disabilities. All the 15 remaining grounds of discrimination (race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, and family status) may be accommodated as well.
A6: Language: A6 stipulates four language scenarios al-lowed in SJTO: English, French, American Sign Language (ASL) or Quebec Sign Language (QSL). Written materials are acceptable in English and French. In addition, a person appearing before the tribunal may use an interpreter upon request.
A7: Courtesy and respect: A7 stipulates that, “All persons participating in proceedings before or communicating with the tribunal must act in good faith and in a manner that is courteous and respectful of the tribunal and other participants in the proceeding.”
A8: Abuse of process: A8 forbids abuse of process. Abuse of process is defined as persistent and instituted vexatious proceedings or conducting a proceeding in a vexatious manner or being a vexatious litigant. A vexatious litigation may be described as a legal action or proceeding brought without merits and may be brought solely to harass, embarrass or subdue another party. The phrase “frivolous, burdensome and repetitive” proceedings may be used.
A9: Representatives: A9 stipulates that a party at the SJTO may be self-represented or be represented by a person licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). Such “licensees” are expected to abide by sound ethical stipulations of their respective codes of conduct as well to be professionally responsible in the conduct of representative affairs before the tribunals. It also stipulates the representative’s duty to information, contact details and whether or not the representative is withdrawing and the requirement to inform the tribunal and the other part in timely manner. A representative may be disqualified from appearing before any of the SJTO tribunals for abuse of process.
A10: Litigation Guardians: A10 allows a party to appear before the tribunal by litigation guardian. Such a party must first be presumed to be competent until proved otherwise. The party appearing by litigation guardian must file a Litigation Guardian Declaration stipulating that the party whose interests are being guarded in below 18 years of age and the guardian is at least 18 years of age, their date of birth, nature of the relationship, consent to be a litigation guardian, and etc.
 Lisa Braverman, Administrative Tribunals: A Legal Handbook (Aurora, ON: Canada Law Book, 2001)
 R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33
 R.S.O 1990, c. C.43 - Ontario
 R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8
 R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25
 R.S.O. 1990, c. L.19
 R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1
 R.S.O. 1990, c. E.19
 R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21
 R.S.O. 1990, c. B.7
 R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16
 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25
 S.C. 1999, c.33
 S.C. 2001, c.26
 R.S.C. 1985, c. F-14
 R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194 under the Courts of justice Act
 O. Reg. 258/98 under the Courts of justice Act
 O. Reg. 114/99 under the Courts of Justice Act
R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22
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