A Watchful Eye on the ethics of administrative judges

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The Conseil de la justice administrative is responsible for investigating the conduct of certain administrative law judges, namely :

  • Members of the Tribunal administratif du Québec;   
  • Members of the Tribunal administratif du travail;
  • Members of the Tribunal administratif des marchés financiers;
  • Commissioners and special clerks of the Régie du logement;
  • Disciplinary council chair of the Bureau des présidents des conseils de discipline.

Any person can advise the Conseil in writing that the conduct of one of its administrative law judges allegedly violated the rules and duties of ethics. For further information on the subject please refer to the section “How to file a complaint“.

The Conseil also performs other functions concerning the administration of administrative justice. It may be called upon to give advice to the Minister of Justice and to the president of the Administrative Tribunal of Québec on various issues concerning the procedure or administration of administrative justice. Sub-section “Functions of the Conseil“ provides a complete list of these functions.

Limitations to the powers of the Conseil de la justice administrative

The Conseil de la justice administrative has the mandate to receive and examine complaints concerning a breach of ethics conduct, that is, reprehensible conduct.

When a complaint is considered admissible and the inquiry committee in charge of investigating the complaint decides that it is well-founded, the powers of the Conseil are limited to reprimanding the concerned administrative law judge or recommending his/her suspension or dismissal.

The Conseil de la justice administrative cannot under any circumstance rescind or amend a decision rendered by the member or commissioner. If you consider that the decision of the administrative law judge is unsound, consult a lawyer or another competent person to find out if it is possible for you to challenge the decision you find unsatisfactory. In fact, the law provides for review, revocation or appeal mechanisms that can be exercised within certain time limits.