Practice Direction: Role of Tribunal Counsel Office Lawyers in Appeals and Applications before the Tribunal

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1.0 This Practice Direction:

  • Describes the Tribunal Counsel Office at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (“Tribunal”).
  • Provides an overview of the role of Tribunal Counsel Office lawyers (“TCO Lawyers”) in appeals and applications before the Tribunal.

2.0 The Tribunal Counsel Office

  • 2.1 The Tribunal Counsel Office (TCO) is a centre of legal and medical expertise at the Tribunal.
  • 2.2 The TCO consists of TCO Lawyers, TCO Administrative Support Staff, and the Medical Liaison Office.
  • 2.3 For more information about the Medical Liaison Office, see the WSIAT Guide: WSIAT-Initiated Assistance for Medical Issues.

3.0 The Role of TCO Lawyers in Appeals and Applications before the Tribunal

  • 3.1 TCO Lawyers are available to provide neutral assistance to the Tribunal in appeals and applications:
    • TCO Lawyers may provide neutral assistance before, at, and after a hearing.
    • TCO Lawyers may provide assistance in appeals and applications as requested by a Vice-Chair or Panel.
    • TCO Lawyers may also provide assistance by processing the most complex appeals and applications.
  • 3.2 All requests for TCO Lawyer assistance made by a Vice-Chair or Panel are confirmed in writing and communicated to participating parties, as well as placed on the record.
  • 3.3 TCO Lawyers do not take a position on the outcome of an appeal or application before the Tribunal.
  • 3.4 TCO Lawyers do not provide representation to parties participating in an appeal or application before the Tribunal.
  • 3.5 Examples of the neutral assistance that TCO Lawyers can provide to the Tribunal in an appeal or application include but are not limited to:
    • Assisting with the questioning of witnesses at a hearing, or prior to a hearing with a Court Reporter.
    • Making oral or written submissions with respect to legal or procedural issues identified by the Vice-Chair or Panel before, at, or after a hearing.
    • Processing the most complex appeals and applications, including liaising with parties to streamline processes and clarifying and resolving procedural and legal issues arising during the hearing process.
  • 3.6 TCO Lawyers also provide general appeal and application-related legal advice to Tribunal staff.

4.0 Other Work of TCO Lawyers

  • 4.1 TCO Lawyers frequently provide corporate legal advice and assistance in relation to non-appeal or application related matters to other departments of the Tribunal with respect to contract and procurement issues, corporate governance, privacy, human resources, and training.
  • 4.2 TCO Lawyers also represent the Tribunal in litigation matters and related proceedings, including in applications for judicial review.
Effective date: January 1, 2020
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal