Before a court can intervene, it needs to have a basis for doing so. The grounds for review set out under subsection 18.1(4) of the Federal Courts Act open the door for the Federal Court to grant relief if it is satisfied that the CRA:
(a) acted without jurisdiction, acted beyond its jurisdiction or refused to exercise its jurisdiction;
(b) failed to observe a principle of natural justice, procedural fairness or other procedure that it was required by law to observe;
(c) erred in law in making a decision or an order, whether or not the error appears on the face of the record;
(d) based its decision or order on an erroneous finding of fact that it made in a perverse or capricious manner or without regard for the material before it;
(e) acted, or failed to act, by reason of fraud or perjured evidence; or
(f) acted in any way that was contrary to law.
If there are grounds for review, the next step is to decide the level of scrutiny or deference that should be exercised in the course of that review; often referred to as the “standard of review.”
If an applicant’s sole ground for review is a defect in form or technical irregularity, the Federal Court may refuse the relief if it finds that no substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice has occurred. If the judicial review deals with a decision from the CRA, the Court may make an order validating the decision.
Last updated: December 15, 2016