2014 Professional Development Forum

Bringing people together for professional development and debate

Evidence: No Case without it

April 8 & 9, 2014

Lister Centre, 87 Avenue & 116 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

2014 Professional Development Week Agenda – Registration FormMap

Member $685.00   –    Non Member $825.00

The Foundation of Administrate Justice’s Forum (formerly conference) will focus on unique aspects of evidence before, during and after the hearing. The intermediate to advanced sessions will cover emotional evidence, privacy issues in disclosure, assessing credibility in investigations and hearings, evidence to establish charter and societal values when interpreting legislation, and writing about evidence in well-crafted reasons.

Opening Panel:  Is there a place for emotional evidence in the fact based decision making process?
Does emotional evidence persuade decision makers or replace evidence?  When is a person not responsible?  Are parties to appeal asking for forgiveness because they cannot be held accountable due to some type of vulnerability or disorder?  Are tribunals affected by victim impact statements?    This session explores the impact of emotional evidence in administrative justice.

Speakers:  Madame Justice Sheila Greckol & Archie Zariski, FOAJ Instructor

Session Door Prize Book:  Therapy Culture by Frank Furedi

 1.   Adjudicator Activism
From a standpoint of administrative fairness, how active should an adjudicator be in eliciting evidence, either directly or through Board counsel? Are there limits, and if so what are they? Is there a different standard for self-represented parties than there is for parties represented by counsel?  In this session, panel members consisting of two very experienced Board Counsel, will discuss these and related issues, including historical challenges to Board practices and the disposition of these issues.

Speakers:  Brian McNulty, Alberta Utilities Commission & Mike d’Alquen, Municipal Government Board

Session Door Prize Book:  Advocacy by Hugh Selby

2.  Administrative Proceedings and Disclosure
Have the black and white lines of disclosure blurred to grey?  How do tribunals disclose the appropriate documentation while still maintaining privacy and confidentiality of the participants?  In the session, panel members will discuss what can and ought to be disclosed pre-hearing, during, and post-hearing while protecting privacy rights and maintaining procedural fairness.

Speakers:  Lorne Randa, Brownlee LLP, Frank Work, Former AB Privacy Commissioner & Robyn Singleton, Q.C.

Session Door Prize Book:  The Law of Evidence by David M. Paciocco and Lee Stuesser

3.  Evidence in Statutory Interpretation
When we think of statutory interpretation we probably envision a process of close reading of legislation and reflection on the proper meaning. This is true, but may form only part of the work that is necessary. How is legislation brought to light or proved? What outside sources can be consulted to investigate the intention of the legislators? When is it permissible to refer to a dictionary or technical manual for help in deciding the proper meaning of words? These and other questions introduce the idea of evidence being used in statutory interpretation. This panel will suggest answers to such questions and discuss some difficult issues related to them.

Speakers:  Graeme Mitchell, SK Ministry of Justice and Attorney General & Roderick Wiltshire, AB Justice and Solicitor General

Session Door Prize Book:  Statutory Interpretation by Ruth Sullivan

4.  Credibility of Evidence
Assessing the credibility of evidence is an important and often difficult aspect of the tribunal decision-making process, particularly when there is conflicting evidence.  Should sworn evidence be weighted more heavily than unsworn evidence?  How should a tribunal weigh conflicting expert evidence?  In this session, panel members will discuss these and related issues relating to assessing credibility, including an examination of whether certain evidence is to be believed and how much weight it should be given.

Speakers:   Clifton Purvis, Alberta Serious Incident Response Team & Al Vonkeman, CKR Global Investigations

Session Door Prize Book:  Natural Logic, Judicial Proof and Objective Facts by W A N Wells

Where to stay:

Lister Hall Guest Services
(780) 492-6056

Campus Tower Suites
11145 87 Avenue, Edmonton, AB
(780) 439-6060

Varscona Hotel on Whyte
8208 106 St
Edmonton, AB, T6E 6R9
Toll-Free Reservations: 1-866-465-8150



Forum Chair
Cheryl Ryder – Safety Codes Council

Forum Steering Committee:
Thomas Marriot – Brownlee LLP
Cynthia Vizzutti – M.D. of Willow Creek
Gwendolyn Stewart Palmer – Shores Jardine LLP

Forum Coordinator
Karen Popoff – Foundation of Administrative Justice

Testimonial from Delano Tolley:
The Foundation of Administrative Justice conference provides an excellent forum for networking and updating tribunalists in the field of administrative law.