Workshop A — Writing Reasons after Post-Vavilov: Defensible Decisions, Access to Justice and Plain Language

Oct 25, 2022 9:00am – 12:30pm

Paul Aterman
Chairperson/ Président
Social Security Tribunal of Canada

In this interactive workshop, we will explore how administrative decision-makers can apply the lessons of Vavilov by writing coherent reasons in plain language. We start by examining the law and theory. But then we dive into the practice. We will work on rewriting excerpts from tribunal decisions so that normal people can understand them.

This workshop is intended for tribunal members, other administrative decision-makers and tribunal counsel who review decisions. If you want to get beyond legalese and reach the people who are affected by your decisions, then this workshop is for you. If you missed last year’s highly popular workshop, or need a refresher, this writing session will re-examine and repeat the materials you missed. Enrolment is capped at 25 and this session is being offered in-person only.

This session will offer practical strategies for lawyers and non-lawyers alike, addressing:

  • Developing meaningful ways administrative tribunals can justify decision-making
  • Ensuring fairness, quality and consistency in decision making
  • Articulating your interpretation and fully explaining your decision and writing effective decisions
  • Finding efficiency in writing decisions amid high-traffic tribunals
  • Exploring the standard of “correctness”
  • Honing your redaction skills