Ferjo V Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Case Study

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Case Brief:
Ferjo v. Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, 2011 HRTO 222
Purpose: Kimberley Ferjo commenced an application against the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for sexual discrimination. The tribunal had to determine whether Mrs. Ferjo faced discrimination after being previously denied legal representation and if her application should be dismissed.
Facts: Mrs. Ferjo acted as a representative and witness for VideoComm Technologies during a hearing before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The hearing was based on allegations that VideoComm Technologies had discrimination against a pregnant employee. VideoComm Technologies was ordered to pay damages at the end of the hearing. The hearing was conducted by Tribunal Vice-chair Leslie Reaume and during the hearing Mrs. Ferjo was denied legal representation, which
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Mrs. Ferjo’s application against the tribunal stated that she believed that the tribunal discriminated against her at the previous hearing when they denied her legal representation. Mrs. Ferjo checked off sexual discrimination on the application form but could not provide any factual evidence that she faced discrimination on those grounds. Mrs. Ferjo was therefore unable to establish prima facie case.
[2] The tribunal argued the doctrine of judicial immunity prevented legal proceedings against judicial members based on their actions as an adjudicator or decision maker. This is so that judicial members can make decisions without fear of consequences. The Tribunal Vice-chair’s decision to refuse Mrs. Ferjo’s previous adjournment was protected under The Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22. In addition the tribunal brought up the fact that Under Rule 13.1 of its Rules of Procedure, the Tribunal was able to dismiss an application that it had no jurisdiction over. Judicial immunity and judicial independence prohibited the tribunal of having the jurisdiction to review Mrs. Ferjo’s
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