Access to Information in Administrative Tribunals
Mary-Elizabeth Dill & Emma Phillips
Access to Information in Administrative Tribunals: Toronto Star Newspaper Ltd. v. The Attorney General of Ontario , paper prepared for the Six-Minute Administrative Lawyer (Law Society of Ontario, March 1, 2018)
In this paper, Mary-Elizabeth Dill and Emma Phillips discuss The Toronto Star’s application to have the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) declared unconstitutional under s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it applies to administrative tribunals (such as the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario).
Section 2(b) provides that “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms … (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”
The Toronto Star maintains that the application of FIPPA to administrative tribunals restricts public access to adjudicative records. It is seeking a declaration that the principle of openness that applies to the courts should also apply to administrative tribunals, making their proceedings and records presumptively open to the public.
Mary-Elizabeth and Emma describe the legal arguments made by The Star, the arguments the government is likely to make in its response, and some of the implications of the case.