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Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)

Act current to 2022-06-20 and last amended on 2021-08-31. Previous Versions

PART IIIDiscriminatory Practices and General Provisions (continued)

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Marginal note:Establishment of Tribunal

  •  (1) There is hereby established a tribunal to be known as the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal consisting, subject to subsection (6), of a maximum of 18 members, including a Chairperson and a Vice-chairperson, as may be appointed by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Qualifications for appointment of members

    (2) Persons appointed as members of the Tribunal must have experience, expertise and interest in, and sensitivity to, human rights.

  • Marginal note:Legal qualifications

    (3) The Chairperson and Vice-chairperson must be members in good standing of the bar of a province or the Chambre des notaires du Québec for at least ten years and at least two of the other members of the Tribunal must be members in good standing of the bar of a province or the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

  • Marginal note:Regional representation

    (4) Appointments are to be made having regard to the need for regional representation in the membership of the Tribunal.

  • Marginal note:Knowledge and experience — pay equity

    (4.1) Appointments must be made having regard to the need for adequate knowledge and experience in pay equity matters among the members of the Tribunal.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of temporary members — incapacity

    (5) If a member is absent or incapacitated, the Governor in Council may, despite subsection (1), appoint a temporary substitute member to act during the absence or incapacity.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of temporary members — workload

    (6) The Governor in Council may appoint temporary members to the Tribunal for a term of not more than three years whenever, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, the workload of the Tribunal so requires.

Marginal note:Terms of office

  •  (1) The Chairperson and Vice-chairperson are to be appointed to hold office during good behaviour for terms of not more than seven years, and the other members are to be appointed to hold office during good behaviour for terms of not more than five years, but the Chairperson may be removed from office by the Governor in Council for cause and the Vice-chairperson and the other members may be subject to remedial or disciplinary measures in accordance with section 48.3.

  • Marginal note:Acting after expiration of appointment

    (2) A member whose appointment expires may, with the approval of the Chairperson, conclude any inquiry that the member has begun, and a person performing duties under this subsection is deemed to be a part-time member for the purposes of sections 48.3, 48.6, 50 and 52 to 58.

  • Marginal note:Reappointment

    (3) The Chairperson, Vice-chairperson or any other member whose term has expired is eligible for reappointment in the same or any other capacity.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 65
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27

Marginal note:Remedial and disciplinary measures

  •  (1) The Chairperson of the Tribunal may request the Minister of Justice to decide whether a member should be subject to remedial or disciplinary measures for any reason set out in paragraphs (13)(a) to (d).

  • Marginal note:Measures

    (2) On receipt of the request, the Minister may take one or more of the following measures:

    • (a) obtain, in an informal and expeditious manner, any information that the Minister considers necessary;

    • (b) refer the matter for mediation, if the Minister is satisfied that the issues in relation to the request may be appropriately resolved by mediation;

    • (c) request of the Governor in Council that an inquiry be held under subsection (3); or

    • (d) advise the Chairperson that the Minister considers that it is not necessary to take further measures under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of inquirer

    (3) On receipt of a request referred to in paragraph (2)(c), the Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, appoint a judge of a superior court to conduct the inquiry.

  • Marginal note:Powers

    (4) The judge has all the powers, rights and privileges that are vested in a superior court, including the power to

    • (a) issue a summons requiring any person to appear at the time and place specified in the summons in order to testify about all matters within the person’s knowledge relative to the inquiry and to produce any document or thing relative to the inquiry that the person has or controls; and

    • (b) administer oaths and examine any person on oath.

  • Marginal note:Staff

    (5) The judge may engage the services of counsel and other persons having technical or specialized knowledge to assist the judge in conducting the inquiry, and may establish the terms and conditions of their engagement and, with the approval of the Treasury Board, fix and pay their remuneration and expenses.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry in public

    (6) Subject to subsections (7) and (8), an inquiry shall be conducted in public.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality of inquiry

    (7) The judge may, on application, take any appropriate measures and make any order that the judge considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of the inquiry if, after having considered all available alternative measures, the judge is satisfied that

    • (a) there is a real and substantial risk that matters involving public security will be disclosed;

    • (b) there is a real and substantial risk to the fairness of the inquiry such that the need to prevent disclosure outweighs the societal interest that the inquiry be conducted in public; or

    • (c) there is a serious possibility that the life, liberty or security of a person will be endangered.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality of application

    (8) If the judge considers it appropriate, the judge may take any measures and make any order that the judge considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of a hearing held in respect of an application under subsection (7).

  • Marginal note:Rules of evidence

    (9) In conducting an inquiry, the judge is not bound by any legal or technical rules of evidence and may receive, and base a decision on, evidence presented in the proceedings that the judge considers credible or trustworthy in the circumstances of the case.

  • Marginal note:Intervenors

    (10) An interested party may, with leave of the judge, intervene in an inquiry on any terms and conditions that the judge considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Right to be heard

    (11) The member who is the subject of the inquiry shall be given reasonable notice of the subject-matter of the inquiry and of the time and place of any hearing and shall be given an opportunity, in person or by counsel, to be heard at the hearing, to cross-examine witnesses and to present evidence.

  • Marginal note:Report to Minister

    (12) After an inquiry has been completed, the judge shall submit a report containing the judge’s findings and recommendations, if any, to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Recommendations

    (13) The judge may, in the report, recommend that the member be suspended without pay or removed from office or that any other disciplinary measure or any remedial measure be taken if, in the judge’s opinion, the member

    • (a) has become incapacitated from the proper execution of that office by reason of infirmity;

    • (b) has been guilty of misconduct;

    • (c) has failed in the proper execution of that office; or

    • (d) has been placed, by conduct or otherwise, in a position that is incompatible with the due execution of that office.

  • Marginal note:Transmission of report to Governor in Council

    (14) When the Minister receives the report, the Minister shall send it to the Governor in Council who may, if the Governor in Council considers it appropriate, suspend the member without pay, remove the member from office or impose any other disciplinary measure or any remedial measure.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 65
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27

Marginal note:Status of members

  •  (1) The Chairperson and Vice-chairperson are to be appointed as full-time members of the Tribunal, and the other members are to be appointed as either full-time or part-time members.

  • Marginal note:Functions of Chairperson

    (2) The Chairperson has supervision over and direction of the work of the Tribunal, including the allocation of work among the members and the management of the Tribunal’s internal affairs.

  • Marginal note:Functions of Vice-chairperson

    (3) The Vice-chairperson shall assist the Chairperson and shall perform the functions of the Chairperson if the Chairperson is absent or unable to act or the office of Chairperson is vacant.

  • Marginal note:Acting Chairperson

    (4) The Governor in Council may authorize a member of the Tribunal to perform the functions of the Chairperson on a temporary basis if the Chairperson and Vice-chairperson are absent or unable to act or if both of those offices are vacant.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 65
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 414

Marginal note:Residence

 The full-time members of the Tribunal shall reside in the National Capital Region, as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act, or within forty kilometres of that Region.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 65
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27

Marginal note:Remuneration

  •  (1) The members of the Tribunal shall be paid such remuneration as may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Travel expenses

    (2) Members are entitled to be paid travel and living expenses incurred in carrying out duties as members of the Tribunal while absent from their place of residence, but the expenses must not exceed the maximum limits authorized by the Treasury Board directives for employees of the Government of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Deemed employment in federal public administration

    (3) Members are deemed to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.

  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E)

Marginal note:Head office

 The head office of the Tribunal shall be in the National Capital Region, as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.

  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 415]

Marginal note:Conduct of proceedings

  •  (1) Proceedings before the Tribunal shall be conducted as informally and expeditiously as the requirements of natural justice and the rules of procedure allow.

  • Marginal note:Tribunal rules of procedure

    (2) The Chairperson may make rules of procedure governing the practice and procedure before the Tribunal, including, but not limited to, rules governing

    • (a) the giving of notices to parties;

    • (b) the addition of parties and interested persons to the proceedings;

    • (c) the summoning of witnesses;

    • (d) the production and service of documents;

    • (e) discovery proceedings;

    • (f) pre-hearing conferences;

    • (g) the introduction of evidence;

    • (h) time limits within which hearings must be held and decisions must be made; and

    • (i) awards of interest.

  • Marginal note:Publication of proposed rules

    (3) Subject to subsection (4), a copy of each rule that the Tribunal proposes to make shall be published in the Canada Gazette and a reasonable opportunity shall be given to interested persons to make representations with respect to it.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) A proposed rule need not be published more than once, whether or not it has been amended as a result of any representations.

  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27

Inquiries into Complaints

Marginal note:Request for inquiry

  •  (1) At any stage after the filing of a complaint, the Commission may request the Chairperson of the Tribunal to institute an inquiry into the complaint if the Commission is satisfied that, having regard to all the circumstances of the complaint, an inquiry is warranted.

  • Marginal note:Chairperson to institute inquiry

    (2) On receipt of a request, the Chairperson shall institute an inquiry by assigning a member of the Tribunal to inquire into the complaint, but the Chairperson may assign a panel of three members if he or she considers that the complexity of the complaint requires the inquiry to be conducted by three members.

  • Marginal note:Chair of panel

    (3) If a panel of three members has been assigned to inquire into the complaint, the Chairperson shall designate one of them to chair the inquiry, but the Chairperson shall chair the inquiry if he or she is a member of the panel.

  • Marginal note:Copy of rules to parties

    (4) The Chairperson shall make a copy of the rules of procedure available to each party to the complaint.

  • Marginal note:Qualification of member

    (5) If the complaint involves a question about whether another Act or a regulation made under another Act is inconsistent with this Act or a regulation made under it, the member assigned to inquire into the complaint or, if three members have been assigned, the member chairing the inquiry, must be a member of the bar of a province or the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

  • Marginal note:Question raised subsequently

    (6) If a question as described in subsection (5) arises after a member or panel has been assigned and the requirements of that subsection are not met, the inquiry shall nevertheless proceed with the member or panel as designated.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 49
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 66
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27

Marginal note:Conduct of inquiry

  •  (1) After due notice to the Commission, the complainant, the person against whom the complaint was made and, at the discretion of the member or panel conducting the inquiry, any other interested party, the member or panel shall inquire into the complaint and shall give all parties to whom notice has been given a full and ample opportunity, in person or through counsel, to appear at the inquiry, present evidence and make representations.

  • Marginal note:Power to determine questions of law or fact

    (2) In the course of hearing and determining any matter under inquiry, the member or panel may decide all questions of law or fact necessary to determining the matter.

  • Marginal note:Additional powers

    (3) In relation to a hearing of the inquiry, the member or panel may

    • (a) in the same manner and to the same extent as a superior court of record, summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce any documents and things that the member or panel considers necessary for the full hearing and consideration of the complaint;

    • (b) administer oaths;

    • (c) subject to subsections (4) and (5), receive and accept any evidence and other information, whether on oath or by affidavit or otherwise, that the member or panel sees fit, whether or not that evidence or information is or would be admissible in a court of law;

    • (d) lengthen or shorten any time limit established by the rules of procedure; and

    • (e) decide any procedural or evidentiary question arising during the hearing.

  • Marginal note:Limitation in relation to evidence

    (4) The member or panel may not admit or accept as evidence anything that would be inadmissible in a court by reason of any privilege under the law of evidence.

  • Marginal note:Conciliators as witnesses

    (5) A conciliator appointed to settle the complaint is not a competent or compellable witness at the hearing.

  • Marginal note:Witness fees

    (6) Any person summoned to attend the hearing is entitled in the discretion of the member or panel to receive the same fees and allowances as those paid to persons summoned to attend before the Federal Court.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 50
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 27
 
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