Contents


BC Human Rights Tribunal

Frequently Asked Questions about the Role of Tribunal and Who Can Help

Does the Tribunal advocate for me or represent me in my complaint?

No, the Tribunal does not act as an advocate. The Tribunal is a specialized court. It must be neutral. That means it does not take sides in a human rights complaint. This is because it may need to make decisions about the complaint and the complaint process that are fair to both parties.

Why can’t the Tribunal advocate for me?

The Tribunal is responsible for having a process that is fair to both parties. That means that it cannot take sides. If the Tribunal has to make a decision about a complaint, it has to do this with an open mind, not as an advocate for one side.

Will the Tribunal investigate or prosecute the complaint?

No. The Tribunal does not have the power to investigate a complaint. The Tribunal does not act as a prosecutor. The Tribunal requires both sides to give each other information about the complaint.

What can the Tribunal do for me?

The Tribunal is responsible for having a fair and timely process to resolve human rights complaints.

The Tribunal’s process is free.

The Tribunal has a process for helping the parties to solve the complaint themselves.

The Tribunal requires both sides to share information about the complaint. If a hearing is needed, the Tribunal tells the parties what to do to get ready.

You work for the Tribunal, why can’t you give me advice about what I should do next?

The Tribunal cannot take sides, so it cannot give either side advice about the complaint or what to do next. To be fair to both sides, the Tribunal will only tell you what it would also tell the other side.

For example, the Tribunal can tell you what process options there might be next. It can give you some information about those options. But it can’t tell you which one you should choose.

What is the role of the Case Manager? 

A case manager is responsible for the processing of complaints, including setting dates for settlement meetings, case conferences, and hearings. The case manager is responsible for communications between the Tribunal and parties about a complaint.

What is the difference between the Human Rights Clinic and the Tribunal?

The Human Rights Clinic provides assistance and representation to complainants.

The Tribunal is responsible for the human rights complaints process. It does not take sides in a complaint.

Do I need a lawyer?

Not usually. The human rights complaint process is meant to be used by people without a lawyer. In some cases, the Tribunal may recommend that you get a lawyer to help you with a complicated legal question.

How can I get a lawyer?

If you are a complainant, assistance may be available from the Human Rights Clinic.

If you are a complainant or respondent in the Greater Victoria area, assistance may be available from The Law Centre.

No matter who you are and where you live, you can be directed to the Referral Service or call 604-687-3221 or 1-800-663-1919.

Everyone can learn more at Who can help?