Canada asks Court to Overturn Specific Claims Tribunal's First Decision
By Kate Buttery
While there is no right to a full appeal of a Specific Claims Tribunal decision, parties may ask the Court to judicially review a decision on the basis that the Tribunal made errors of fact and law. This will be the first time the Court has been asked to review a decision from the new Specific Claims Tribunal.
At stake for Kitselas First Nation is both the further delay in having their claim resolved and the possibility that the Tribunal’s decision could be quashed.
There are also important issues at stake for all First Nations. The Court will address the question of the scope of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction and the standard of review that will apply when a Court is asked to review a Tribunal decision. It will also address the extent of Canada’s fiduciary duty to Aboriginal people at the time reserves were created in B.C.
First Nations across Canada will be watching with interest to see how the Court addresses these central questions of the Tribunal’s role and the Crown’s fiduciary responsibilities to Aboriginal people.
Kate Buttery is Affiliate Counsel with First Peoples Law. She practices Aboriginal law in B.C. and Ontario.
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