News and updates

News


  • 2020 updates

    September 22, 2020 

    The Tribunal has issued a Guide to On-line Hearings and Microsoft Teams Participant Instructions. These guides contain practical information that will help participants prepare for video hearings at the Tribunal. 

    June 22, 2020 

    The Tribunal has: 

    • New complaint forms – there are now three forms (Individual, Group or Class, and Retaliation), plus an Authorization Form for someone who files a complaint for another person unless the person filing is a lawyer or legal advocate 
    • New application forms 
    • New Case Activity Centre – participants can get an account and then: 
    • see case information 
    • make requests and applications 

    We will start inviting participants to create accounts. We ask for your patience as we move 1,600 cases into our new case management system. 

    • Revised its Rules to: 
    • recognize that participants may submit some forms online (rule 10(2)(b)) 
    • allow delivery of documents submitted to the Case Activity Centre by providing notice where the other participant also has an account (rule 11(1)(b)) 
    • reflect changes in the complaint forms (rule 12(1)) 
    • reflect the commissioner’s power of intervention (rule 13(5)) 
    • change the process for applying for documents from a person who is not a party to the complaint (rule 23(2)-(3)) 
    • make minor wording changes in rules 14, 17, and 20.2(4) 
    • Revised the information sheets about: 
    • General applications 
    • Dismissal applications 
    • Updated its Complaint Process Privacy Policy 
    • A new link for you to provide feedback 

    June 15, 2020 

    The Tribunal issued Report on Implementation of Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights.

    June 12, 2020 

    We are making changes! On June 22, 2020, the Tribunal will move to a new case management system. We will also introduce some significant changes: 
     

    New Case Activity Centre 

    First, we will introduce a Case Activity Centre where parties can get an account to “log in” to: 

    • see case information 
    • make requests and applications 

    We will begin to invite participants to use the Case Activity Centre. 
     

    We ask for your patience as we move 1,600 existing cases to the new system. 
     

    New Forms 

    Second, we will introduce new complaint forms: 

    • online forms accessible from a computer or smart phone (the new online forms will be ready for use on June 25, 2020) 
    • paper alternatives 

    Other changes 

    We will also introduce some related changes: 

    • revised Rules of Practice and Procedure that: 
    • recognize that participants may submit some forms online 
    • allow delivery of documents submitted to the Case Activity Centre by providing notice where the other participant also has an account 
    • reflect changes in the complaint forms 
    • reflect the commissioner’s power of intervention 
    • change the process for applying for documents from a person who is not a party to the complaint 
    • make minor wording changes in other rules 
    • Revised forms and information sheets for general applications and dismissal applications 
    • Updated Complaint Process Privacy Policy 

    We encourage you to send us feedback about these changes – and where we need to fix things or do better. 

    May 8, 2020 

    As identified below, the Human Rights Tribunal is currently seeking contract mediators to provide mediation services to the parties involved in Tribunal proceedings. 

    The process through the BC Bid website has changed. The deadline to submit a proposal is extended to May 21, 2020 at 2 pm. 

    Please check the BC Bid website for updates. 

    April 22, 2020 

    The Human Rights Tribunal is currently seeking contract mediators to provide mediation services to the parties involved in Tribunal proceedings. 

    Information about this opportunity is available on the BC Bid website. After accessing this link, click on “supplier attachments” in the top righthand corner and “proceed to attachments” to access the interactive proposal form which sets out the mandatory requirements for the contract. 

    The deadline for submissions of proposals for this opportunity is May 7, 2020 at 2 pm

    April 1, 2020 

    Effective April 1, 2020, the following provisions of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2018 are brought into force by the Human Rights Amendment Act Regulation, B.C. Reg. 71/2020: 

    • Responsibility for special programs has shifted to the BC Human Rights Commissioner: ss. 42 and 47.12 have been amended; s. 27.3(2)(l) has been repealed. 
    • Any special program currently approved by the Tribunal Chair under s. 42 of the Human Rights Code remains valid as if it had been given by the Commissioner: B.C. Reg. 71/2020, s. 15. 
    • The Commissioner now has the power to obtain copies of complaints and responses: s. 47.13. 

    March 31, 2020 

    See COVID-19 Response if you have questions about filing deadlines and for updates about how to communicate with us. 

    March 30, 2020 
    The Tribunal has consolidated its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See COVID-19 Issues at the Tribunal if you have questions about filing deadlines and for updates about how to communicate with us. 

    March 27, 2020 – COVID-19 response update 

    Accredited Media Access to Hearings: The Tribunal recognizes the importance of having its hearings open to the public. The Tribunal’s hearing rooms are temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. Media who are accredited under the BC Courts Media Accreditation Process and who want to attend a hearing held by telephone or video conference should contact the Tribunal by email at BCHumanRightsTribunal@gov.bc.ca at least one week before the hearing. The email should identify the hearing from the hearing schedule and attach confirmation of their accreditation. 

    How to file materials: The reception desk is closed to the public. The drop box is not currently accessible. You can file materials by mail, fax, and email. Check back for updates. 

    March 23, 2020 – COVID-19 response update 

    How to file materials: The reception desk is closed to the public. You can file materials by mail, fax, email, or by drop box at the tribunal’s offices. Check back for updates. 

    Affidavits: The Tribunal will accept affidavits executed following the process identified by the BC Courts and approved by the Law Society of BC

    March 13, 2020 – COVID-19 response 

    The Tribunal is taking action with the goal of protecting the health and safety of the public we serve and our team. At the same time we are doing our best to maintain regular access to our dispute resolution services. 

    Our offices are now closed with the team working at home to help stop the spread of the virus. This will not affect your telephone calls and emails getting through to us. Please continue to contact us and we will respond. 

    The Tribunal is no longer conducting in-person proceedings. If you have an in-person mediation or hearing in the near future, we will be reaching out to you to discuss other methods of proceeding. 

    February 7, 2020 

    The Tribunal Member competition may be used to fill two vacancies and an eligibility list will be created from which other positions may be filled throughout the year. 

    The Tribunal is also seeking qualified candidates who possess efficient decision-writing in the human rights field for a temporary appointment under s. 6 of the Administrative Tribunals Act. 

    Interested candidates are invited to apply through the current posting and to specify whether they seek a temporary appointment under s. 6, an order-in-council appointment, or both. Candidates who seek a temporary appointment should highlight skills and experience relevant to decision-writing in the human rights field. 

    January 31, 2020 

    The Human Rights Tribunal issued a policy and practice direction regarding human rights complaints made on behalf of another person. These include the obligations of a Representative Complainant. 

    January 22, 2020 

    The Human Rights Tribunal currently has a posting for a Tribunal Member position. The Tribunal is committed to increasing the number of Indigenous Peoples at all levels of the organization, as called for in the report of Ardith Walkem QC, Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights. In making a recommendation for an appointment, the Tribunal may grant a preference to Indigenous candidates. 

    January 15, 2020 

    Today, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal released a report addressing serious access to justice concerns for Indigenous Peoples bringing human rights complaints to the Tribunal. The report, entitled Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality&Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights, makes far-reaching recommendations that could transform human rights in this province. The Human Rights Tribunal is being joined by Indigenous, legal and human rights organizations in a shared commitment to transform human rights for Indigenous Peoples in the province. 

    Report author Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem QC surveyed over 100 Indigenous People about their experiences with discrimination and the Human Rights Tribunal. Overwhelmingly those interviewed reported pervasive levels of discrimination. Many Indigenous People had no idea that the Human Rights Tribunal existed, or how to access it. Many said that their experiences of racism as Indigenous Peoples were so widespread that they did not believe it would make any difference to file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal. 

    Expanding our Vision makes nine recommendations. Removing barriers to access to the Human Rights Tribunal is not enough. Structural change is needed to incorporate Indigenous definitions of human rights according to Indigenous laws. The main recommendations broaden the concept of human rights, including adding Indigenous Identity to the BC Human Rights Code and incorporating Indigenous legal traditions and international human rights principles as reflected in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which BC has recently committed to implementing through legislation.  

    This report is a call to action. The Human Rights Tribunal will actively engage with Indigenous Peoples and communities to move forward in a meaningful way on these recommendations. The report has implications beyond the Tribunal’s work, and we are committed to working collaboratively with others. 

    January 13, 2020 

    The Tribunal has updated its Public Access & Media Policy, including about public attendance at hearings, voice recorders, cell phones, and publication bans. 

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