Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Corporations (ABCCs) > Quasi-Judicial & Positions
Toronto Licensing Tribunal
The Toronto Licensing Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body that operates independently of the licensing and enforcement functions performed by City staff. Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) staff administer and issue licences in accordance with City bylaws and thresholds established by Council.
The Tribunal considers matters where the holder of a licence has violated certain threshold conditions. It also considers matters where an applicant disagrees with an ML&S decision. City lawyers prepare the case for the City in cooperation with ML&S staff, and present the City's case at the hearing. Applicants or licensees may also be represented by their own legal counsel at the hearings.
The Tribunal is a local board of the City. It conducts itself in accordance with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, and is also governed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing (PDF).
A Council-approved Relationship Framework (PDF) sets out Council's delegation of authority, expectations and requirements for the Toronto Licensing Tribunal.
Tribunal members are organized into hearing panels of three members to hear individual cases. They hear both sides of the issue and make a decision.
The panel chair documents the panel's decision in writing in a form that restates the salient evidence given at the hearing, provides a clear rationale for the decision, and references the bylaw articles applied.
This position requires a commitment from each member to spend the time needed for preparation and in-depth hearings. A single matter may require hearing testimony from not only the applicant or licensee, but also from a number of civilian and City staff witnesses, all of which is done under oath and is subject to cross-examination.
Duties of the Tribunal Chair include:
- management of the hearing process including assignment of panels and oversight of the adjudicative process
- attending hearings when required
- review of decision documentation for consistency
- liaison with the City regarding both administration and policy issues
- ensuring that members attend the prescribed training program, and seek training opportunities for members to foster their adjudicative skills on an ongoing basis
- representation of the Tribunal in the media and at public events
Term of office
The Toronto Licensing Tribunal consists of 7 citizen members (approved by City Council at its meeting held on October 24 and 25, 2011, as Item CA10.5)
The Tribunal is organized into two panels of 3 members each on a rotating basis. Council appoints the Tribunal Chair.
Hearings are held weekly on Thursdays by rotating panels of three members. Occasionally, there are special hearings and multi-day hearings.
The Tribunal is also required to hold two or more business meetings in a calendar year of the full Tribunal. Tribunal members are expected to attend these periodic business meetings of all Tribunal members to discuss their decision making protocols, issues that need to be brought to the attention of the City and the content of their annual report.
All new members of the Tribunal are required to successfully complete a 5 day SOAR (Society of Ontario Arbitrators and Regulators training program within 6 months of being appointed (unless they have completed the program prior to being appointed).
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