The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal seems to have really blown the call on this case:
A Mississauga businesswoman whose home was ordered seized to pay an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal award to a former employee can keep her house — for now.
The Superior Court struck down the “fatally flawed” decision as so unfair to defendant Maxcine Telfer — who represented herself in the hearing — that it was “simply not possible to logically follow the pathway taken by the adjudicator.”
Luckily, we have legal eagle Christopher Bird around to discuss the larger implications for the OHRT and other rights tribunals around the country:
Human rights tribunals in Ontario (and across the rest of Canada, for that matter) have been the subject of intense criticism in the past, with many complaining that HRT decisions such as Ms. Telfer's were not treated with the appropriate seriousness such matters merited.
Certainly, Audmax will serve as fodder for that line of argument. Others have suggested that HRTs are themselves a waste of state resources which would be better allocated to the traditional court system; while Audmax demonstrates that HRTs can be flawed in execution, it does not necessarily follow from the decision that the system must therefore be scrapped.
What Audmax ultimately demonstrates to the reader is that Divisional Court is willing to consider with the utmost seriousness whether HRT outcomes are merited, that they are willing to review them where they feel they are incorrect or unfair, and that although HRTs decisions have been statutorily protected, they are not ironclad.
This is probably for the best. The Courts' willingness to review flawed administrative rulings is ultimately necessary to preserve trust in the system.
So there you have it.