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Administrative Law (Ontario)(SPPA)
(01 March 2019)

Chapter 16 - Tribunal Rule-Making Authority: Cost Awards


Readers will be aware of the concept of 'legal cost awards', typically made to a successful party in civil litigation. Many tribunals intentionally have no costs authority, but if they do it is spelled out in the rules that govern their specific proceedings [SPPA s.17.1(1)].

Such rules may authorize the tribunal to order a party to pay all or part of another party's legal costs [SPPA s.17.1(2)], but only if:
  • the conduct or course of conduct of a party has been unreasonable, frivolous or vexatious or a party has acted in bad faith; and

  • the tribunal rules set out the circumstances in which costs may be ordered, and the determination of the amount of costs [SPPA s.17.1(4)].
The Tribunal must make any such rules available to the public in both English and French [SPPA s.17.1(5); 25.1(4)].

Submissions for cost orders shall be made by written or electronic format, "unless a party satisfies the tribunal that to do so is likely to cause the party significant prejudice" [SPPA 17.1(7)].

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