Complaint process

Tribunal’s role in judicial review

Last updated: February 6, 2024

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If a party files a judicial review application in BC Supreme Court, they must give the Human Rights Tribunal [Tribunal] a copy of the Petition and affidavit.

The Tribunal continues with the complaint (unless the Tribunal decision dismissed it). Either party can ask the Tribunal to adjourn a hearing or defer a complaint until the court makes a decision.

If the Tribunal decides to take part in the judicial review, a lawyer will file a Response to Petition and affidavit. The affidavit may explain the Tribunal process and the information the Tribunal had to make its decision. This is called the record. The Tribunal’s lawyer may file a written argument and go to the court hearing.

The Tribunal is not allowed to tell the court that its decision is correct. The Tribunal usually makes comments about:

  • The Tribunal’s powers under the Human Rights Code
  • The Tribunal’s process
  • The Tribunal’s record
  • The court’s powers, including that:
    • Generally, the court should wait until the Tribunal finishes with the complaint before it hears a judicial review
    • Generally, the court can only consider information the Tribunal had when it made the decision
    • The test the court should use to decide if the Tribunal made an error (called the “standard of review”)
    • If the court decides the Tribunal made an error, the usual remedy is to order the Tribunal to reconsider the matter

The Tribunal’s lawyer will not act for you. The lawyer only represents the Tribunal’s interests.

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