Appeals from the CRT Ruling

An application for judicial review of a final CRT decision must be started within 60 days of the decision

Bill 22 introduced Part 5.1 (Judicial Review of Tribunal Decisions) which is the legislation setting out the process of appealing a CRT final ruling. That provision makes s. 57 of the Administrative Tribunals Act applicable to appeals.

An application for judicial review of a final CRT decision must be started within 60 days of the decision unless the Court orders otherwise.

Bill 22 adds a new section dealing with “standard of review” for CRT decisions which makes it very difficult to appeal any CRT decision. Basically, the CRT decisions regarding benefits, “minor injury” determinations or damages up to $50,000 (not liability) can only be successfully appealed unless the decision is “patently unreasonable”. This test applies on findings of fact or law or on an exercise of discretion on the part of the CRT.

How has “patently unreasonable” been described in the case law? The Supreme Court of Canada, in Law Society of New Brunswick v. Ryan, set out the test as:

  1. Clearly irrational;
  2. Evidently not in accordance with reason”; and/or
  3. So, flawed that no amount of curial deference can justify letting it

Applying to discretionary decisions, the Administrative Tribunals Act expressly provides that a decision is “patently unreasonable” if it:

  1. Is exercised arbitrarily or in bad faith;
  2. Is exercised for an improper purpose;
  3. Is based entirely or predominantly on irrelevant factors; or
  4. Fails to take statutory requirements into account.

In the rare situation where the issue on appeal is not concerning a finding of fact or law, an exercise of discretion, or a concern about natural justice and procedural fairness, the standard on review is “correctness”.

Simply put, it will be rare to find a final decision of the CRT that is appealable. Hence, expect some “eye opening decisions” to come out the of the CRT that become the law in ICBC claims.