I am excited to announce that the Notices of Appeal for the Environmental Appeal Board, Forest Appeals Commission, and Energy Resource Appeal Tribunal (together, the “Appeal Bodies”) have been updated. There are three significant updates.
First, the Notices of Appeal have an updated look, and prompt appellants to answer questions tailored for each of the Appeal Bodies. Outdated information has been removed, and the forms align better with appeal processes as each of the Appeal Bodies.
Second, the Notices of Appeal ask all appellants and representatives to identify their pronouns. The Appeal Bodies are committed to ensuring their appeal processes try to address access to justice concerns experienced by appellants of varied gender identities, and to respect their rights to respect and dignity throughout their appeals.
Third, the Notices of Appeal ask appellants if they wish to self-identify as Indigenous. If so, the Board may raise various prehearing issues to ensure appropriate inter-cultural conduct, and to ensure access to justice and fairness for all parties, consistent with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s 94 Calls to Action.
The Appeal Bodies also track appeal outcomes broadly, to look for system-wide differences between those who self-identify as Indigenous, versus those that do not. Where concerning patterns arise, the Appeal Bodies will assess their processes more closely, to try to address any systemic biases or other issues that negatively impact Indigenous peoples’ ability to access justice.
Appellants (and other parties) can also self-identify privately. If they do so, the Appeal Bodies will not share or use that information in the appeal, but will use it to help safeguard against institutional bias and other barriers to access to justice.
The Appeal Bodies expect to continue to revise their forms and welcome feedback as this process continues.
Darrell Le Houillier
Environmental Appeal Board
Forest Appeals Commission
Energy Resource Appeal Tribunal