Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

Canadian Journal of Administrative Law & Practice. Volume 11 (1998), p. 101-154.


The authors look at the Supreme Court's latest fully reasoned decision on independence in Canadian Pacific v. Matsqui, where native tribunals were found to be biased because of certain institutional characteristics. The authors argue that the court employs, on the one hand, a very simplified analysis of independence, but at the same time, sets standards for testing independence and bias in tribunals that are impossible to adequately quantify in practice. Neither the reasoning of Lamer C.J, nor Sopinka J. is adequate to address the full range of tribunal experience; in fact, the Supreme Court examines administrative tribunals as if they were simply smaller courts, without recognizing their inhere/If differences. Subsequent cases on this point have failed to take into account the differences in these opinions. The authors conclude by noting the complexity of issues regarding bias, such as institutional independence, and question the direction of Canadian jurisprudence in this area.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.