Legal News

Judicial Review Standard for Human Rights Tribunal Confirmed

The BC Supreme Court has confirmed that the Administrative Tribunals Act (“ATA”) establishes the standards of judicial review applicable to decisions of BC Human Rights Tribunal, despite the recent elimination of some of those standards at common law by the Supreme Court of Canada in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9.

In Evans v. University of British Columbia the Petitioner sought judicial review of the Tribunal’s dismissal of her human rights complaint against the University of British Columbia. She claimed in her complaint that UBC had failed to assist her in returning to work, and had altered the duties and responsibilities of her position, following her maternity leave. UBC successfully applied to the Tribunal to have the complaint dismissed on the basis that there was no reasonable prospect of success.

On the Petitioner’s application for judicial review of the Tribunal’s dismissal, the Court considered whether the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Dunsmuir modified the standards of review mandated by the ATA. The Court held that the three standards of review set out in the ATA continue to exist, and that the Tribunal’s decision should therefore be reviewed against the standard of patent unreasonableness. The Court confirmed that the ATA standards of review were not modified by the Dunsmuir decision to reduce the common law standards of judicial review to just two: correctness or reasonableness.

Evans v. University of British Columbia, 2008 BCSC 1026