The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to set out the rules of conduct of the members of the Financial and Consumer Services Tribunal and maintain and enhance public confidence in the integrity and competence of members, the fairness and efficiency of hearings, and the justice of decisions rendered.
This Code of Conduct is founded on the recognition that the conduct of Tribunal members must be governed by the requirements of fairness, integrity and independence in decision-making.
This Code of Conduct should be read keeping in mind the Financial and Consumer Services Commission Act, the Rules of Procedure and the Tribunalís Policy on Conflict of Interest.
To demonstrate commitment to transparency and accountability, this Code of Conduct is available to the public on the Tribunalís website.
A member who fails to comply with this Code of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including revocation of the member's appointment pursuant to section 35 of the Financial and Consumer Services Commission Act.
This policy applies to all current and past Tribunal members.
PRINCIPLES OF CONDUCT
Tribunal members shall ensure that hearings of the Tribunal are conducted in a manner that is transparent and fair.
Tribunal members shall perform their office with honour, dignity and integrity.
3. Interaction with Persons
Tribunal Members shall treat all persons appearing before the Tribunal with dignity, respect and fairness, while exercising the authority required for the good conduct of the hearing.
4. Absence of Discrimination
Tribunal members shall perform their functions without discrimination.
Tribunal members shall act impartially by approaching every proceeding and every issue arising in a proceeding with an open mind, and avoid doing or saying anything to cause any person to think they are biased in favour of one of the parties.
Tribunal members shall defend the independence of their office in the best interest of justice.
7. Other Activities
Tribunal members must ensure that their outside activities do not interfere with the impartial, effective and timely performance of their responsibilities. Members must not engage in activities that bring the Tribunal into disrepute. Unless so authorized by the chair, members must not perform outside activities in a manner that appear to be officially supported by or connected to the Tribunal, or appears to represent Tribunal opinion or policy. Members must not use their position in the Tribunal to lend weight to the public expression of a personal opinion. Members must not use Tribunal letterhead or their Tribunal e-mail for personal correspondence or non-Tribunal related matters.
8. Political Activity
Given the quasi-judicial nature of their duties, new Tribunal members must cease any ongoing political activity upon appointment to the Tribunal. So long as that Tribunal Member has not ceased such political activity, that Tribunal Member shall not sit as a member of the Tribunal hearing any matter.
During the term of a Member, that Member shall not participate in any political activity except as set out below.
For added clarity, Tribunal Members should refrain from:'
- Active participation in any political party;
- Political fundraising;
- Attending any public political gathering;
- Attending political fund raising events;
- Taking part in political discussions except in respect of matters directly affecting the operation or independence of the Tribunal, or fundamental aspects of the administration of justice; and
- Signing petitions or other communications to influence a political decision.
Tribunal Members may contribute financially to a political party and may be a member of such political party as a result of such contribution but shall not take an active role in the activities of that party.
9. Civic and Charitable Activities
Tribunal Members may participate in civic, charitable and religious activities, subject to the following considerations:
- Tribunal Members should avoid any activity or association that could reflect adversely on their impartiality or interfere with the performance of their adjudicative duties; and
- Tribunal Members should avoid involvement in causes, organizations or sectors that are regulated by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission.
10. Post-service Conduct
Tribunal members will observe obligations of confidentiality after leaving office.
Tribunal members shall abide by the Tribunalís Conflict of Interest Policy.
11. Duty to Avoid and Report Real or Perceived Conflicts of Interest
12. Confidential Information
Tribunal members shall preserve confidential information obtained as a result of their appointment.
Tribunal members shall foster their expertise and professional competence and knowledge in adjudication, administrative law and hearing procedure.
Tribunal members shall foster a collegial approach in performing official duties and responsibilities, all the while encouraging the expression and exchange of strongly held views in discussions and deliberations.
The Tribunal Chair is responsible for the administration of this policy.
TR1-103 Code of Conduct approved September 22, 2015.
Release 002 - Approved September 18, 2019. Addition of obligations regarding other activities, political activity, and civic and charitable activities.
Release 001 Ė Approved September 22, 2015. This document is the original issue.
September 18, 2019