Tribunal Dispute Resolution (TDR)

Tribunal Dispute Resolution (TDR) is a mediation service offered by the Office of the Chief of Commission and Tribunals to the complainant and respondent involved in a human rights complaint. Mediation through the TDR program is confidential, voluntary and free of charge. TDR allows the complainant and respondent (also known as the parties to the complaint) to meet with a Member of the Commission (TDR Commissioner) who acts as a neutral mediator to try to settle the complaint before it goes to a tribunal hearing.

The TDR Commissioner is assigned by the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals (Chief Commissioner) and has significant experience in alternative dispute resolution. The Members of the Commission all have law degrees and are trained in mediation and negotiation. They also have taken training in public interest and human rights issues as well as other applicable areas. The benefit of TDR is that a Member of the Commission, who regularly hears and makes decisions on human rights complaints, can help the parties settle the matter and may also provide a non-binding evaluation of the case. A non-binding evaluation is an informal assessment as to what an outcome might be if the matter is heard by a tribunal.

A settlement, if reached, would have input from all parties and is set out and signed by the parties in a Memorandum of Agreement and Settlement. In some cases, the Commission Director's legal counsel will also be involved in settlement discussions, particularly related to the public interest issues.

The first step at the tribunal stage is mediation, referred to as TDR. The parties will receive correspondence setting out the TDR process, time and place for the TDR and a timetable for providing TDR outlines. If the parties are not able to travel to either Edmonton or Calgary for the TDR, the TDR will be conducted via videoconference if the parties have access to videoconference equipment or via teleconference.

The parties are expected to provide a short written statement (no more than one page) of the requested remedy that would resolve the complaint. This should indicate a breakdown of any monetary remedy requested, including general damages, lost wages and any other losses. The parties should also include any documents they will rely upon in the TDR session (maximum five pages). The documents should be provided by email to the other parties involved in the complaint and to AHRCTribunal@gov.ab.ca seven (7) days before the TDR. The TDR Commissioner will have been provided with a copy of the complaint, the response and the investigation report or memo (if any) and any decisions under section 26 of the Act.

The parties who attend the TDR must have the legal authority to settle the complaint. TDR is a confidential process. Any settlement offers or admissions made in the TDR will not be used against the party making the offer or admission in any tribunal hearing. The settlement reached is binding once the Agreement setting out the terms of settlement is signed.

The complainant and respondent are encouraged to seek legal advice regarding their case before the TDR begins. They may also bring legal counsel, or an advisor, to the TDR to assist. If a settlement is reached through TDR, the parties will sign a document setting out the terms of the settlement. If the parties cannot reach an agreement through TDR, a tribunal hearing date will be set. The Member of the Tribunal who was the mediator at the TDR will not be involved in the tribunal hearing.

Any party involved in a TDR who needs accommodation, such as a translation or accessibility supports, must make arrangements with the Registrar, Office of the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, well in advance of the TDR.

TDR sessions in Calgary and Edmonton are held at these locations:

J.J. Bowlen Building
Mezzanine Level
620  - 7 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta

Commerce Place
7th Floor, 10155 - 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta

In other cities and towns, if the parties are not able to travel to either Edmonton or Calgary for the TDR, the TDR will be conducted via videoconference if parties have access to videoconference equipment or via teleconference.

For more information, contact Cathy Finlayson, Registrar, Office of the Chief of Commission and Tribunals, at 780-638-4635.

Revised: November 6, 2019


 

 

 


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