Rarotonga, 2010

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW | SPPA / Fairness (Administrative)

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Civil and Administrative
Litigation Opinions
for Self-Reppers


Institutional Impediments


This is a new topic at January 2023, one that I expect will grow (well it should anyway!). 'Institutional impediments' are typically a class 'David and Goliath' scenario where a large institution - private or public - creates barriers to the access of public, contractual or other rights to a large number of people typically by unilaterally adding requirements to the process of accessing these rights.

Simple examples are telecommunications companies (and even governments) that promise 'service assistance' but then understaff phone access so drastically that access becomes constructively impossible without surrendering self-dignity, significantly sacrificing your own valuable time and risking increased blood pressure.

A (non-)favorite of mine is the requirement that welfare (OW) and ODSP applications be done in the form of an affidavit, rendering any misrepresentations in them by the hard-financially pressed applicant and their family to be potential criminal offences [perjury s.131 CCC] - something neither mandated nor implicitly required by OW or ODSP legislation [like most administrative applications, OW General Reg 20(1) only requires that the application form be "signed" by the applicants]. The effect of this policy is to add a serious - and highly prejudicial - legal requirement to the OW process wholly without statutory authorization. It's a plain manifestation of the mistrust that is felt towards social assistance recipients, despite their being a Charter s.15-protected class [Falkiner v. Ontario (Minister of Community and Social Services) (Ont CA, 2002)].

You can see where this is going, and I expect you can come up with examples from your own life. Perhaps we can dream of the day where 'institutional impediments' or something like it becomes a free-standing tort. We can dream, but meantime let's hammer together a useful body of law to this end and start (or rather, continue) to advance this issue in public debate, before administrative tribunals and the courts.


Institutional Impediments

[29 Jan 2023]


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Last modified: 27-03-23
By: admin