Application for judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s decision to dismiss a complaint against applicant’s employer dismissed. Court rejected arguments that Commission’s investigation was insufficiently thorough due to investigator not listening to recordings of witness interviews conducted by applicant, and that investigator had prejudged case and was biased against applicant.
Administrative Law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Discrimination – Human rights complaints – Human Rights Tribunal – Investigations – Judicial Review
Majidigoruh v. Jazz Aviation LP,  F.C.J. No. 319, 2017 FC 295, Federal Court, March 21, 2017, A.L. Mactavish J.
The applicant sought judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s decision to dismiss his complaint against his employer following an investigation and a decision that further inquiry was not warranted. The applicant argued the Commission’s investigation was insufficiently thorough and overlooked crucial evidence. He also argued the investigation was unfair as the investigator had prejudged the outcome and was biased against him. The applicant’s application for judicial review was dismissed.
Regarding the requirement for a thorough investigation on the part of the Commission, the court noted it is only where unreasonable omissions are made, for example where an investigator failed to investigate “obviously crucial evidence,” that judicial review is warranted. The court rejected the applicant’s argument that the Commission’s investigation was insufficiently thorough. While the investigator unreasonably refused to listen to tape recordings of witness interviews provided by the applicant, the court listened to the recordings and determined they did not constitute “obviously crucial evidence.” To the extent the investigator’s refusal to listen to the recordings constituted an investigative flaw, the court was satisfied it was easily remedied by the applicant’s opportunity to provide response submissions to the Commission, which he did provide.
The court rejected the applicant’s argument that the investigator prejudged the case and was biased against him on the basis that there was no evidence in the record supporting the allegation, and because the applicant had not raised his concern about possible bias to the investigator or the Commission, thereby waiving his right to object later on in the proceeding.
This case was digested by Kara L. Hill of Harper Grey LLP. If you would like to discuss this case further, please feel free to contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or review her biography at http://www.harpergrey.com.
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