AuthorEd Ratushny
chapter one
At the f‌irst legal conference on public inquiries in C anada, one of the
presenters commented: “The actual diversity of inquiries may pre-empt
any systematic conceptualization of inquiry procedure . . . In the f‌inal
analysis, the problem is that inquiries have different functions and
goals and are created for numerous and diverse reasons.”1 But this is
true, generally, of administrative law. There are literally thousands of ad-
ministrative bodies operating in Canada today, described variously as
“tribunals,” “agencies,” “boards,” “commissions,” and “committees,” which
were created for diverse reasons and which perform diverse functions.
Some Crown corporations also have regulatory functions and occasion-
ally public servants are given some independent decision-making pow-
ers.2 They encompass subject areas such as the environment, energy,
transportation, communications, labour, human rights, immigration and
refugee status, the military, and many more.
1 Patrick Robardet, “Should We Abandon the Adversarial Model in Favour of the In-
quisitorial Model in Commission of Inquiry?” in A.P. Pross, I. Christie, & J.A. Yogis,
eds., Commissions of Inquiry (Toronto: Carswell, 1990) at 129–30.
2 Canadian Bar Association Task Force on the Independence of Federal Administra-
tive Tribunals and Agencies in Canada, The Independence of Federal Administrative
Tribunals and Agencies in Canada (Ottawa: Canadian Bar Association, 1990) at 4–5.

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