February 27, 2014

Fairness and Human Rights Investigations– New Template from the Supreme Court

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 5:29 pm

Tessier v. Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission 2014 NSSC 65 is a just released decision of Justice Athur LeBlanc, that gives a thorough review of the content of the procedural fairness duty of Nova Scotia Human Rights investigators. Here’s something of a flavour:

[37] … human rights Investigators are masters of their own
procedure and are afforded broad discretion in choosing who they interview and how
they gather information…. That
broad discretion, however, must be exercised in accordance with the duty of
procedural fairness owed to the complainant.

…procedural fairness requires that human rights investigations satisfy two criteria:
neutrality and thoroughness: para. 49.

[44]….investigators are entitled to significant deference, and judicial intervention will be
warranted only where an investigator fails to investigate obviously crucial evidence.

The decision is well worth reading on the point, picks up a possible divergence in Federal Court jurisprudence and contains a good analysis of alleged failures that met the fairness obligation and one that does not. Paras 53 to 67 cover much of the meat.


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