3.15: Originating application for judicial review

Case Summary

The Applicant brought a Human Rights Complaint against a minor hockey association. The Respondent, the Alberta Human Rights Commission (“Commission”), dismissed the complaint in its screening process (“Dismissal”). The Applicant applied for Judicial Review of the Dismissal. Under Rule 3.15(2), an Originating Application for Judicial Review seeking to set aside a decision must be filed and served within six months of the date of that decision, and Rule 3.15(3) requires that the Originating Application must be served on the decision-maker and “every person or body directly affected by the application.”

The Applicant sent the Application to the Court prior to the limitation period but did not get it back as filed within the limitation period, so service on the Commission was late. Further, the Applicant never served the Respondent hockey association, and insisted that the Commission was the only affected party. The Court rejected that position.

The Court highlighted some important procedural issues for Judicial Review: (1) the 6 month limitation period to file and serve is a substantive and firm limitation period that cannot be extended, and (2) the Judicial Review Application must be served on both the decision maker whose decision is being reviewed and the other party who was before the original decision maker.

Justice Feth noted that on Judicial Review, the Commission had a role in providing the record and speaking to jurisdiction but does not and cannot make submissions on the merits. The decision being reviewed was a decision made in the hockey association's favour and it was the affected party to speak to the merits of the complaint.

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