Roundtables

BCCAT Roundtable

Virtual Hearings: Practical Tips and the Path Ahead

Robert Wickett, Q.C. is pleased to announce that Devyn Cousineau and Iain Macdonald will be joining him during September 21’s Roundtable, Virtual Hearings: Practical Tips and the Path Ahead.

Online or virtual hearings are here to stay in the administrative law world. It is most unlikely we will return to pre-March 2020 hearing procedures. In light of this reality, our speakers will bring an advocate’s, instructor’s, and adjudicator’s perspective to the future of virtual hearings. Robert, Devyn and Iain will explore many questions, such as:

  1. What are the challenges of virtual hearings and how might they be addressed?
  2. What are the attributes of virtual hearings and how might they be expanded upon?
  3. How have the courts addressed virtual hearings in the context of hearing fairness and the rule of law?
  4. How should adjudicators prepare for virtual hearings?

*** You must register in order to be admitted to this valuable Roundtable.

When: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 • 12:00-1:00pm

Where: Zoom

Cost: BCCAT members are entitled to complimentary attendance as part of their annual membership.

BCCAT non-members: $20 per Roundtable

Devyn Cousineau has been a member of the BC Human Rights Tribunal since 2017. Before her appointment, Devyn practiced in many areas of administrative and labour law, including as in-house counsel to the Tribunal. She clerked for the BC Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Since February 2020, Devyn has presided over at least 14 virtual hearings, ranging from one day to four weeks. These hearings have featured multiple parties and intervenors, legal counsel and self-represented litigants, extensive documentary records, expert evidence, witnesses testifying internationally, interpreters, contentious issues of credibility, and participants with disabilities, mental health issues, and/or technological barriers.

Iain Macdonald  began his association with administrative law in March 1986 when he was appointed to the Workers’ Compensation Review Board where, in addition to deciding thousands of appeals, he served as training and education coordinator (1987 – 1993), and quality assurance coordinator (2000 – 2003). He was appointed in March 2003 as a vice-chair of the newly formed Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. In December 2010, after completing nearly 25 years as an administrative law decision maker, during which he chaired well over a thousand hearings and wrote thousands of decisions, he retired from government service and joined the advocacy group at the British Columbia Government Employees Union.

In 1999, Iain was elected Treasurer of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals (BCCAT) and served in that capacity for six years. He continued to sit on the BCCAT Board and completed a term as President (2008 – 2010). He served for five years on the BCCAT Publication and Communications Committee, and is currently a long-standing member of both the Education, and Annual Conference Committees. He is a qualified instructor for BCCAT Decision Writing, Administrative Justice, and Hearing Skills courses and coordinates the Post-Secondary Decision Makers and Hearing Skills workshops.

Robert Wickett, Q.C. has practiced as a trial and appellate lawyer for 37 years before retiring from his firm to focus on adjudicative work.  Bob’s litigation practice has been primarily in the field of commercial litigation with an emphasis on environmental, administrative, commercial leasing and real estate matters.

Bob has served on the Environmental Appeal Board and the Forest Appeals Commission since 2003 and on the Oil and Gas Appeals Tribunal since its inception in 2010.  He is currently vice chair of all three of these tribunals. 

Bob has acted as an arbitrator and mediator in private commercial disputes and in 2021 Bob was appointed as an arbitrator for the Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.

In his practice as a tribunal member and arbitrator Bob has conducted numerous virtual hearings and arbitrations, many requiring credibility assessments and many with self-represented litigants.  He has also appeared as counsel in virtual hearings before the courts of British Columbia.

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Previous Roundtable Events

Managing Tribunal Process and Running Fair Hearings: Trials, Tribulations and Tips

BCCAT’s Board Member, Jennifer Glougie, is excited to announce that Najeeb Hassan, Anna Fung and Erin Frew will be presenting at BCCAT’s next Roundtable on June 8.

Join our presenters in a roundtable discussion on managing tribunal processes (from intake to decision) to ensure a fair process. Najeeb, Anna and Erin will discuss their experiences in managing process and will provide practical tips for achieving an efficient process and procedurally fair hearings.

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2022 • 12:00-1:15pm

Where: Zoom

Cost: BCCAT members are entitled to complimentary attendance as part of their annual membership.

BCCAT non-members: $20 per Roundtable

Najeeb Hassan is currently a Vice-Chair and Registrar of the BC Labour Relations Board (since December 2019). He also served as a Vice Chair of the Board from 2003 to 2006. Najeeb has practiced labour and employment law for over thirty years, including at one of Canada’s largest national law firms and one of BC’s most respected labour and employment law boutiques.

Erin Frew was appointed Vice Chair of the Property Assessment Appeal Board in 2016. Erin received her Juris Doctor from the University of British Columbia and was admitted to the Law Society of British Columbia in 2011. Prior to her appointment to the Property Assessment Appeal Board, Erin gained experience in quasi-judicial proceedings as an Arbitrator for the Residential Tenancy Branch and as a Review Officer with WorkSafeBC.

Anna Fung, Q.C. was appointed as a BCUC Commissioner in December 2017 and as Deputy Chair in 2019, after serving as Vice President, Legal and General Counsel for TimberWest Forest Corp., where she also served as its inaugural Chief Ethics Officer. She was previously Corporate Counsel at Intrawest ULC and Senior Counsel at BC Gas Inc. Anna holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (English and French) from the University of British Columbia. She earned her Certified Corporate Counsel designation in 2015. She has served as President of each of the Law Society of British Columbia, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, People’s Law School, Association of Chinese Canadian Professionals and BC Autism Association. She is the Chair of the BC Unclaimed Property Society and a director of the UBC Alumni Association and the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals.

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Essential Practice Points for Tribunals: Trans Inclusivity and Access to Justice

BCCAT’s Vice President, Meera Bennett, is excited to announce that Lee M. G. Nevens, Department of Justice Canada, will be presenting at BCCAT’s next Roundtable on February 24th.

The purpose of this session is to equip tribunal members with the foundational knowledge needed to develop practices that are inclusive and respectful of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse parties. We will cover material that will be of interest to those who are familiar and unfamiliar with these issues alike, including:

  • the concepts and vocabulary of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression;
  • the impact of transphobia and gender-based marginalization on trans people’s access to the justice system;
  • specific obstacles and barriers for trans people within the justice system; and
  • concrete steps that tribunal members can implement immediately to ensure their tribunals are safer and more welcoming of gender diverse parties.

This Roundtable is intended to provide an open and welcoming environment for people to learn and ask questions about these issues while highlighting simple, practical changes that can lead to immediate improvements.

When: Thursday, February 24, 2022 • 12:00-1:15pm

Where: Zoom

Cost: BCCAT members are entitled to complimentary attendance as part of their annual membership.

BCCAT non-members: $20 per Roundtable

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How to Bullet Proof Your Judgments From Judicial Review

Join Robert Wickett, Q.C. as he moderates a Roundtable discussion with his guests: Karrie Wolfe and Andrew Gay, QC

This Roundtable will be focused on tips for decision makers and will cover topics such as:

  • understanding your governing statute: the parameters of your jurisdictional box
  • procedural fairness: balancing flexibility vs. prejudice
  • lessons from Vavilov
  • tribunal policies: guidelines vs. law
  • should you seek legal advice prior to writing: when? how?

When: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 • 12:00-1:00pm

Where: Zoom

Cost: BCCAT members are entitled to complimentary attendance as part of their annual membership.

BCCAT non-members: $20 per Roundtable


Tribunals and Indigenous Reconciliation

What is Being Done? What Must Be Done?

Join us for a lively Roundtable with Andrea Hilland and Amber Prince who will discuss how tribunals can implement and support meaningful reconciliation.

Thursday June 3, 2021 • 12:00-1:00pm via Zoom

BCCAT Member Roundtable Rate: BCCAT members are entitled to complimentary attendance as part of their annual membership.

BCCAT non-members: $20 per Roundtable

Andrea Hilland is Nuxalk lawyer who has been working on equity diversity and inclusion initiatives at the Law Society of British Columbia since 2013, as their Staff Lawyer – Equity and Diversity. Since 2015, Ms. Hilland has also been assisting with the Law Society’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Prior to joining the Law Society, Ms. Hilland practiced Aboriginal and environmental law for ten years. Her 2013 LL.M. thesis explored the interaction of the Nuxalk and Canadian legal systems in relation to an endangered species. She currently volunteers with the UBC Law Innocence Project and the Nuxalk Stewardship Program. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund and the False Creek Watershed Society.

Amber Prince is a nehiyaw moniyâw iskwew and member of the Sucker Creek (Cree) Nation (Treaty 8) but grew up on the unceded territory of the Dakelh (Carrier) First Nations (Prince George), and now lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She has a BA from SFU, an LLB from UBC and an LLM from UVIC. From 2006-2020 Amber provided a range of legal advocacy services for women at Atira Women’s Resource Society. She was also an adjunct professor at the Allard School of Law from 2014 to 2020. She was appointed as a member of the BC Human Rights Tribunal for a four-year term in January 2021. Amber has also been a member of the Human Rights Tribunal’s Expanding Our Vision Committee since 2020. This Committee provides guidance to the Tribunal as it works to implement the recommendations in the Report: Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples Human Rights, by Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem QC (now Justice Walkem) http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/shareddocs/indigenous/expanding-our-vision.pdf. Justice Walkem’s Report addresses serious access to justice concerns for Indigenous Peoples bringing human rights complaints to the Tribunal.


Interpreting Your Own Jurisdiction

Join us for a fascinating Roundtable with Tim Dickson and Oliver Pulleyblank who will discuss how tribunals should interpret the scope of their own jurisdiction, particularly where there is a claim that another tribunal also has jurisdiction over the same subject matter. Tim and Oliver are counsel for BCCAT in our intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada on this topic (Supreme Court of Canada – SCC Case Information – Summary – 37878 (scc-csa.ca)). The appeal will be heard February 16, 2021.

This Roundtable will be held on February 10, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:00pm via Zoom. Register now by emailing registrar@bccat.net and instructions on how to join will follow by email.

BCCAT Member Roundtable Rate: Individual and group members are entitled to one complimentary Roundtable during each of their annual membership periods. All further Roundtables during that same period of time are $10 each.

BCCAT Non-Member Roundtable Rate: $20 each

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Click here for past Roundtable materials for BCCAT members.