Practice Direction 2017-01: Procedure for requests to participate as an intervener

Date Issued: May 25, 2017

Application

This practice direction applies when a person or organization cannot be added as a party to the proceeding pursuant to subsection 10(1) of the Social Security Tribunal Regulations (Regulations) or section 65 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESD Act) but nevertheless wishes to participate in the proceeding as an intervener.

Purpose

The purpose of this practice direction is to set out the procedure for requests to participate as an intervener.

Background

An intervener is a person or organization who does not have a direct interest in the decision, but that is granted intervener status on a discretionary basis because their involvement would be helpful to the determination of the issues. The intervener’s participation rights are determined by the Tribunal member, and are generally more limited than those of a party. For example, intervention is widely used by specialized organizations and advocacy groups to present submissions before courts and tribunals on issues of public interest within their expertise.

The DESD Act and the Regulations do not contain any express provisions regarding intervention. However, the Tribunal has the power to remedy gaps in the Regulations by way of analogy (s. 3(2) of the Regulations) and consider requests by a party to deal with any matter concerning a proceeding (s. 4 of the Regulations). Accordingly, this practice direction sets out the procedure to be followed when a person wishes to participate in an appeal as an intervener by analogy to the provisions regarding added parties (s. 10(1) of the Regulations).

Procedure for filing a request to participate as an intervener

  1. 1) Making a request to participate as an intervener

    Any person or organization may request to participate in an appeal as an intervener by filing a request that contains:
    1. (a) the person or organization’s full name, address, telephone number and, if any, facsimile number and email address;
    2. (b) a statement that sets out why the person or organization has a genuine interest in the decision, how they wish to participate in the proceedings and how that participation will assist in the determination of a factual or legal issue before the Tribunal;
    3. (c) the name, address, telephone number and, if any, facsimile number and email address of any person authorized to represent the person or organization; and
    4. (d) a declaration that the information provided is true to the best of the person or organization’s knowledge.
  2. 2) Response to a request to participate as an intervener

When a person or organization requests to participate as an intervener, the member may provide the parties to the appeal an opportunity to file submissions in response to the request to participate as an intervener.

If the member decides to grant the request to participate as an intervener, the member will provide directions regarding the role of the intervener and the procedure to be followed on the appeal.

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