Andrew Bernstein says admin law trilogy decision greeted with "relief and delight"

December 23, 2019

Partner Andrew Bernstein has welcomed the much-anticipated decision in a trilogy of standard-of-review appeals in the Supreme Court, telling Canadian Lawyer it “will be greeted with a combination of relief and delight.”

In making its decision, the SCC established a new framework for the standard of review in administrative law cases, saying the presumption that reasonableness is the applicable standard.

The Canadian Lawyer piece discusses the decisions and reactions to it—that Alexander Vavilov is a Canadian citizen despite his parents being Russian spies, and CRTC allowing U.S. ads during the Super Bowl was unreasonable.

Andrew told the publication the decision was “largely what the bar was hoping for”.

“It gives very clear guidance what the standard of review should be, what standard review should be used, and, more importantly, how to apply it,” he said.

“And I think [the court has] done a really good job of setting out how you conduct reasonableness review.”

Andrew also spoke with the Canadian Bar Association’s magazine and said reasonableness reviews have changed significantly.

“That’s a significant change and will have a major impact on the way that statutory appeals are dealt with by the courts,” he said.

“It’s an excellent decision—it’s one of the highest quality admin laws decisions we’ve seen in a long time from the Supreme Court.

“They have done exactly what the bar and presumably the lower courts would do, which is set out some clear guidance.”

You can read our team's comprehensive analysis on the decision in "SCC re-rewrites the standard of review".

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