Appealing Decisions

What if you don’t agree with the decision?

Appeal Boards

If you do not agree with the tribunal’s decision in your case, there can be different options to pursue, depending on the tribunal. Some tribunals act as a review board and when the public disagrees with a decision, the case can then go before an appeal board. For example, disputes regarding the assessed value of a property (home or business) go before Property Assessment Review Panels. If someone is not pleased with the decision, the case can then be submitted to the Property Assessment Appeal Board.

Judicial Review

For some administrative tribunals, their decisions can be appealled to the Supreme Court of BC through a process called “judicial review”. The fact that you do not agree with the tribunal’s decision is not a reason that entitles you to review by the court – you must show that the tribunal’s process was flawed or that the adjudicator made an error of law, jurisdiction, or fairness.

If judicial review is an option, the court cannot “second guess” the tribunal and make its own decision. The court can only review the process the tribunal used to reach its decision and any mistakes the tribunal made when applying the law or deciding that it had the authority (jurisdiction) to hear the case. The court may also set aside a tribunal’s decision if it is clear that the tribunal breached its duty to be fair.

In general, the courts are reluctant to reverse a tribunal’s decision where the tribunal adjudicators had highly specialized expertise or knowledge that the court does not have, as long as the tribunal has acted appropriately and considered the relevant evidence. To learn more, read the Supreme Court Guidebook called "Judicial Review".