Administrative Law relates to disputes that get decided by specialized tribunals instead of by a judge. You may find yourself in a dispute where you do not have the option of suing in Court and having a judge decide the issue; rather, you must take your dispute to a panel of lawyers and non-lawyers who will decide your dispute.
You may have heard of many of these tribunals, such as the Employment Standards Tribunal, the Human Rights Tribunal, Worksafe BC or the Residential Tenancy Branch. We find that these are the four most common tribunals that our clients need help navigating. There are other tribunals that are less commonly encountered such as the Veteran’s Review and Appeal Board, the Marketing Board, the Expropriation Compensation Board or the Property Tax Appeal Board.
Many of these tribunals have their own sets of rules and procedures that can be confusing to people. There is no one set of rules or procedures or time lines so you need a lawyer who can assist you with the procedures. Unlike courts, administrative tribunals do not always publish their decisions, so you need a lawyer who can find the decisions that will assist you in your case. Oftentimes, the tribunals can make decisions about your rights based only on your and the other side’s written statement. Parties are surprised that decisions can be made that affect their rights and responsibilities, without ever having been given the opportunity to fully argue their point. Appealing those decisions to the Supreme Court is a very technical process and again, you should have a lawyer to help you with that process as well.