Reasons Review Guideline

This guideline was created for three reasons.

First, it was written to protect the independence of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal’s (CART’s) adjudicators. 

Second, it was written to improve the timeliness of CART’s decision-making.

Finally, it was written so that CART’s reasons review practices are transparent. 

A. General Principles

The following principles have guided the creation of this guideline:

  • Adjudicators are responsible for the quality and timeliness of their decisions;
  • Adjudicators are not required to send their draft decisions for Comprehensive Feedback or Light Editing, but new adjudicators are encouraged to do so;
  • Adjudicators are free to accept or to reject any feedback they receive; and
  • Unless an adjudicator requests the Chairperson’s feedback, the Chairperson will not be copied on drafts sent for, or returned from, Comprehensive Feedback or Light Editing.

B. Definitions

“Comprehensive Feedback” is the optional, written, confidential feedback about a draft decision that is requested by the adjudicator.  New adjudicators are encouraged to submit their draft decisions for Comprehensive Feedback.  Comprehensive Feedback is provided to an adjudicator by another adjudicator or by a lawyer within Legal Services, and may include, but is not limited to, feedback regarding:

  • Substantive and procedural issues, potential errors of law, apparent inconsistencies and incoherence or issues with tone, and advice on the interpretation of the law, policies and other CART decisions; and
  • Formatting, spelling, references, punctuation, grammar, and syntax.

“Light Edit” is the optional, written, confidential feedback about a draft decision that is requested by the adjudicator.  It is provided to the adjudicator by the Editing team, the Registrar, or by another adjudicator, and:

  • Is limited to formatting, spelling, references, punctuation, grammar and syntax; and
  • Does not address substantive and procedural issues, potential errors of law, apparent inconsistencies and incoherence or issues with tone, or advice on the interpretation of the law, policies and other CART decisions.

C. Requesting and Providing Comprehensive Feedback or a Light Edit

Readiness: It is the adjudicator’s responsibility to ensure that their draft is ready to be submitted for Comprehensive Feedback or a Light Edit.  Neither Comprehensive Feedback nor Light Editing includes wholesale drafting.

Manner: When submitting a draft decision for Comprehensive Feedback or a Light Edit, the following practices apply:

  • The drafts shall be submitted by email;
  • There is no need to send a copy of the Record; and
  • Unless an adjudicator requests the Chairperson’s feedback, the Chairperson will not be copied on drafts sent for, or returned from, Comprehensive Feedback or Light Edits.

Timeliness: A person who has agreed to provide Comprehensive Feedback or a Light Edit must do so in a timely manner.  If they cannot do so in a timely manner, the person must tell the adjudicator so that the adjudicator may request Comprehensive Feedback or a Light Edit from someone else.  

D. Further Reading

The emphasis on adjudicative independence in this guideline has been informed by the decisions in:

This Reasons Review Guideline is approved by the Tribunal’s Chairperson on March 7th, 2023.


Emily Crocco Signature

Emily Crocco
Chairperson
Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal