Appeal to the Review Panel
If a Party does not agree with the decision of the Director of Reviews and Appeals in a Director’s Review or a Director’s Hearing, they may appeal that decision to the Review Panel.
There are 5 steps to the Appeal to the Review Panel:
(i) Timing of Notice of Appeal
The Appellant must Deliver to the Reviews and Appeals Office their Notice of Appeal no later than 15 days after receiving the Director’s decision. (see Rule 9.1).
The Appellant may make a written request for an extension of time. The Review Panel may grant the extension of the Review Panel is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for applying for the extension and that there are apparent grounds supporting the Appeal. The request for time extension should be detailed enough to clearly explain why you are late and why you have a good case to argue if you are given that chance.
(ii) Content of Notice of Appeal
The following items must be included in the appeal package that you deliver to the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office (see Rule 9.2):
- A Notice of Appeal form, with all sections complete and signed, including the Appellant’s reasons for appealing;
- A copy of the Director’s Review of Director’s Hearing decision being appealed;
- A complete copy, including attachments, of the Appellant’s Application for Director’s Review or Application for Director’s Hearing that led to the Director’s decision being appealed
- Payment of $113 including HST (non-refundable filing fee), payable to the "Electrical Safety Authority"
(ii) Review Panel Proceedings
After receiving the Notice of Appeal, the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office will deliver a notice that the Case has been started, together with information about the process. (see Rule 9.5)
The Reviews and Appeals Office may review the Notice of Appeal to ensure that it is complete, that it is not too late to appeal, and that the fee has been paid. (see Rule 11.1)
The Director of Review Panel Appointments will assign one or more tribunal members from the Review Panel Roster to be the Review Panel with the power to decide the Case.
The Appellant can hire a lawyer or licensed paralegal to represent them in the Case. This is often useful, but Appellants can choose to represent themselves. The Review Panel will try to make the process understandable and accessible, but there are usually issues about evidence, procedure and the law that can sometimes be hard to understand or manage.
The Review Panel may order a Party to give more details, information or documents, if that is needed for a better understanding of the issues in the Case. This is called “disclosure.” (see Rule 12.1)
To ensure a fair and efficient process, each Party must disclose to the other Party any evidence that they may be relying on or using in the Case, and also information about their witnesses. (see Rules 12.2 and 12.3)
A Party must deliver their disclosure to the other Party and to the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office no later than 14 days before the first date of the Hearing. This timing may be changed by any Order or Notice from the Review Panel or the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office. (see Rule 12.4)
If there is an in-person hearing, a Party must deliver three paper copies to the Reviews and Appeals Office and one paper copy to the other Party, no later than the start of the Hearing, unless the Review Panel or the Reviews and Appeals Office requires otherwise. (see Rule 12.5)
If a Party fails to comply with the requirements for disclosure, that Party may not rely on the document or thing as evidence, or call the witness to give evidence, unless allowed by the Review Panel. (see Rule 12.7)
(iv) Case Conferences
As part of efficient management of cases, there may be some processes for the Parties before any formal Hearing starts. The Parties may be given a notice to participate in a Case Conference, which is a meeting of the Parties that is not a Hearing.
At a Case Conference, there will be discussion about the Case and the issues, evidence, time deadlines, and processes. There may be discussions to see if the Parties can agree to settle all or part of the Case without having to have a full Hearing.
The purpose of the Case Conference is to help the Parties understand the Case better, try to settle if possible, and help prepare the Parties and Review Panel to have a Hearing that will be fair, efficient and accessible.
A Case Conference will be conducted by telephone unless the Review Panel or person assigned to conduct the Case Conference chooses another way.
(see Rule 13)
Review Panel Hearings may be held in different ways. In some situations, it may work best to do some hearings by telephone conference call, or perhaps video or web conferencing. Some hearings could be done just by exchanging written documents and arguments. For the more typical in-person hearings, they would be held in large meeting rooms. Up to three members of the Review Panel Roster will form a Review Panel. The Review Panel will sit at the front, with the Parties to the Case and their representatives (if any) sitting opposite on the front row of chairs. In some Cases, the Review Panel will have a “Legal Counsel to the Review Panel” in the Hearing or available to the Review Panel to consult if needed.
Please note that in-person Hearings are generally open to the public to attend as observers. However, either the Director or the appellant may at their discretion request a closed hearing.
- Each Party gives their opening statement (this is optional). This is an opportunity for a Party to give a short summary of their evidence and arguments to the Review Panel. This can help the Review Panel prepare to deal with your witnesses and arguments in a more focused way.
- The Appellant goes first with their evidence. This involves introducing documents or witnesses. Documents submitted as exhibits or evidence should have been delivered earlier as part of “Disclosure”.
All witnesses will be “affirmed”, which means they make a legal promise to tell the truth. The Party who called the witness will ask questions to the witness. The other Party will then have a chance to ask questions – this is called cross-examination. The Review Panel may also have some questions.
After the Appellant has submitted all their documents and witnesses, the other Party has their turn. In an appeal about an ESA Order, the other Party is the ESA General Manager/Director who made that Order. In an appeal about a Notice of Proposal or Notice of Provisional Suspension/Refusal to Renew, the other Party is the ESA Director of Licensing. The ESA Party will be represented by a lawyer (Legal Counsel) from the ESA.
- Once all evidence has been presented, the Parties give their closing arguments, with the Appellant going first.
(v) After the Hearing
After the hearing, the Review Panel members meet to discuss the Case and make a decision. The Review Panel will also write reasons for their decision. After the decision and reasons are finalized, the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office will deliver the decision to the Parties.
Once all Parties have received the decision, the decision will be posted on the Review Panel Decisions section of ESA’s website.
Appeal to Divisional Court
Any Party to an Appeal before the Review Panel may choose to appeal the decision of the Review Panel by filing an appeal with the Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court). For more information on how to file a Notice of Appeal with the Divisional Court, please visit the Ontario Superior Court of Justice website.
Please note that the law only allows an appeal to Divisional Court if the reason for the appeal involves a question of law, or a question that is a mix of law and fact.
For more information, please visit the following web pages:
- Review and Appeal Processes: Step-by-Step Guides