Weilers LLP

Suing Tribunals

Suing Tribunals

December 26, 2023

By Brian Babcock


In most situations, it is impossible to sue the tribunal, its members, or the Crown.

If you are dissatisfied with a decision of an administrative tribunal, you should determine your rights to appeal, or obtain judicial review.


This is illustrated by the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Daly v. Ontario (Landlord and Tenant Board),. The claim had initially been dismissed by a motions judge as having no chance of success. The appeal court agreed. The tribunal is protected by a provision in the Residential Tenancies Act. This is true of many other tribunals, either explicitly under their home statutes, or by implication.

The Crown cannot be sued because under the terms of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act 2019, the Crown is liable for fault of its servants and agents, but the tribunal is an independent body not under the control of the Crown, so “vicarious  liability” does not apply.


The moral of this story is that remedies must be carefully considered and are only available where there is jurisdiction for an appeal or judicial review. Typically, this requires consulting the appropriate laws and applying them to the facts.

This is part of what lawyers do. Sure, some non-lawyers have the knowledge to sort through the law and interpret facts, but most do not.


If you are disappointed by a ruling from a tribunal, choosing the right next stage of remedies is crucial. To do this, you should consult a lawyer with expertise in administrative law. You may need one also knowledgeable about civil litigation – not all lawyers with expertise in front of tribunals are comfortable in a court room.

At Weilers LLP, we have practiced administrative law for over 75 years, appearing before a wide range of tribunals. We also have a depth of knowledge and experience in judicial review or appeals. If you need a lawyer with these skills, give us a call and see if Weilers LLP are the right lawyers for you.