Friday, June 13, 2014

Standard of review of administrative tribunal

Canadian Artists' Representation v. National Gallery of Canada, 2014 SCC 42:

[13]                          Reasonableness is the presumptive standard of review when a tribunal is interpreting its home statute or a statute closely connected to its function and with which it will have particular familiarity. The SAA applies to, among other things, "authors of artistic . . . works within the meaning of the Copyright Act", requiring the Tribunal to interpret and apply that statute (SAA, s. 6(2)(b)(i)). None of the exceptions to this presumption of reasonableness apply. No constitutional questions are at issue. The appeal raises no true question of jurisdiction, particularly in light of this Court's caution to interpret this category of questions narrowly when a tribunal is interpreting its home statute or statutes closely connected to its function (Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. Alberta Teachers' Association, 2011 SCC 61, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 654, at para. 34). No issue is at stake that is of central importance to the legal system as a whole and that is not within the Tribunal's area of expertise. Finally, all parties, interveners and the Tribunal do not dispute that scale agreements under the SAA do not apply to collective societies governed by theCopyright Act. Accordingly, there is no serious question as to the jurisdictional lines between the Tribunal and the Copyright Board. The applicable standard of review is reasonableness.

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