CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE
TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA
- GENERAL PROVISIONS
- The Code establishes the standards that govern the conduct of Members of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (the “Tribunal”) as decision-makers of a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal.
- The Code is intended to supplement and should be read in conjunction with any applicable conduct requirements established in the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act (the “Act”), as well as any requirements with regard to conflicts of interest and ethics that are established for Governor in Council (“GIC”) appointees as set out in Federal legislation, guidelines, codes or other instruments, especially the Conflict of Interest Act, the Ethical Guidelines and Statutory Standards of Conduct, as well as the Guidelines for the Political Activities of Public Office Holders.
- The Code applies to all full-time and part-time Members of the Tribunal.
- Each Member must adhere to this Code and commit to supporting standards set out in applicable legislation, regulations, guidelines and practices, especially those listed in Section 2.
- The Code is effective as of November 1, 2011.
- The Code is based on the Tribunal's dedication to the following values: discretion, fairness, integrity, independence, impartiality and transparency.
- The standard of conduct set out in the Code is based on two fundamental principles:
i) That public confidence and trust in the integrity and impartiality of the Tribunal must be conserved and enhanced; and
ii) That independence in decision-making is required.
- The standards of conduct set out in the Code address Members' responsibilities to the Tribunal itself (including colleagues, staff, and parties and their counsel who appear in person or on paper before them), and to the public.
- The Chairperson and CEO of the Tribunal is responsible for the administration of the Code and Members are accountable to the Chairperson for their compliance with the Code.
- Members are encouraged to bring to the Chairperson's attention any conduct that is not in compliance with the Code, if such conduct could threaten the integrity of the Tribunal.
- Members have a responsibility to maintain a high level of professional competence and expertise required to fulfill their duties and responsibilities.
- Members should foster a collegial working environment and conduct themselves in a manner that reinforces the integrity and professionalism of the Tribunal among other Members and with staff.
- Members should share their knowledge and expertise with other Members as requested and as appropriate and not with a view to influence the decision-making process of a Member.
- MEMBERS' RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE PARTIES
CONDUCT OF HEARINGS
- Members shall conduct hearings in a courteous and respectful manner while ensuring that the proceedings are fair, orderly and efficient.
- Members should conduct hearings such that those who appear before the Tribunal understand the procedures and can participate equally in the hearing, whether or not they are represented by counsel.
- Members shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that proceedings are concluded in a timely manner, avoiding unnecessary delays and postponements of proceedings, but always complying with the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness.
- Members shall comply with all procedural fairness and natural justice requirements.
- Members shall disqualify themselves from any proceeding where they know or reasonably ought to know that:
i) they would be in a conflict of interest in making the decision; or
ii) that their participation may create a reasonable apprehension of bias.
- Members shall immediately inform the Chairperson and CEO if either of these situations occur and shall provide the reason for their self-disqualification.
- Members are expected to approach each case with an open mind and must at all times be seen to be impartial and objective.
FAIRNESS AND TRANSPARENCY
- Members must ensure that proceedings are conducted in a manner that is transparent, fair and seen to be fair.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARTICIPANTS IN A PROCEEDING
- Members shall avoid communicating directly or indirectly with any party, counsel, witness or other non-Tribunal participant appearing before them in a proceeding, except in the presence of all parties or their counsel, as such communication may create a reasonable apprehension of bias.
- Members shall avoid having any social contact with a party, counsel, witness or other non-Tribunal participant during the course of a proceeding, as such social contact may create a reasonable apprehension of bias.
- Members shall render decisions on the merits of the case, based on thorough preparation and the application of the relevant legislation to the evidence presented during the hearing.
- Members shall not be influenced by extraneous or improper considerations in their decision-making. Members shall make their decisions free from the improper influence of other persons, institutions, interest groups or the political process.
- Members are expected to render their reasons in accordance with any standards that may be established by the Tribunal regarding quality decision-making.
- MEMBERS' RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE PUBLIC
- Members shall conduct themselves with integrity and avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
- Members shall arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent them from being in a conflict of interest, as set out in the applicable legislation, guideline, code, policy or other instrument established for GIC appointees, especially those listed in Section 2.
- Members shall conduct themselves in a manner that will not cast doubt on their ability to perform their duties objectively.
GIFTS OR OTHER ADVANTAGES
- Members shall not accept gifts or other advantages, including hospitality or other benefits, as set out in the applicable legislation, guideline, code, policy or other instrument established for GIC appointees, especially those listed in Section 2.
- Members may take part in outside activities that are not inconsistent or incompatible with their official duties and responsibilities, or that do not cast doubt on their ability to perform their duties objectively. Such activities may include participation at conferences and training seminars, volunteer activities, public speeches and other similar activities.
- Members shall obtain any required prior written approval for such outside activities, as set out in the applicable legislation, guideline, code or other instrument established for GIC appointees, especially those listed in Section 2.
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