Dear Blue Collar,
The Appeals Commission sided with WCB in refusing to reverse my claim decision. I’ve been advised against hiring a WCB lawyer to take this to The Court of Queen’s Bench because, so I’ve been told, courts don’t often overturn a tribunal’s decision. True?
Answer: Judicial deference to tribunal determinations is on the rise because today’s legislative schemes require extensive administrative discretion — especially in the award of public benefits — to fulfill their lofty ambitions. Put differently, courts don’t normally overrule the expertise that administrative tribunals bring to the table.
In many cases, tribunals such as the Appeals Commission do an admirable job, and their decisions require no judicial scrutiny. The downside is that courts are often anxious to defer to tribunals without thinking overly hard about the substantive merits of a case or the quality of a tribunal’s performance.
If you’re convinced the Appeals Commission made the wrong decision, first give thought to a Reconsideration Application or contact the Office of the Ombudsman before pursuing a judicial review. Give us a call if you need a hand.