Adjudication for disputes about federal transportation
What is adjudication?
A structured process where each party presents arguments and evidence to a Panel of one or more Agency Members.
|Type of disputes||Possible outcome||Timeframe|
A Panel of one or more Agency Members issues a decision that is legally binding on the parties and made public.
85 business days after a complete application is received.
For complex cases, 65 business days after the close of pleadings.
For a comparison of the Agency’s dispute resolution services, see the overview and FAQs.
How adjudication works
After an application is filed, Agency staff will review it to make sure it is complete.
One or more Members will be assigned to the case – they’re referred to as the Panel. Members are Governor-in-Council appointees who act like judges. At the end of the process, the Panel will make a decision that’s final and binding, just like a decision from a court.
Each party is given an opportunity to present their case to the Panel. Most cases are resolved through written submissions. In some cases, the Agency may hold an oral hearing. This allows the Panel to cross-examine the parties and hear expert evidence. Hearings are normally open to the public.
If others are interested in a current case, they can file a position statement or a request to intervene. The Agency will consider the input from position statements and interventions in its decision-making process.
The Panel will consider the arguments of the parties, the evidence that’s been filed, as well as the legislation, regulations and legal principles that apply to the matter. Sometimes the Agency may require additional information before it makes its final decision.
Learn more about how adjudication works.
How to submit an application
The application is an important step in the adjudication process – it’s one of your main opportunities to set out your arguments and provide evidence. It’s your responsibility to include sufficiently persuasive evidence to prove your case. To learn more about filing an application, see section 18 of the Dispute Adjudication Rules.
Before you submit an application:
Is your dispute related to rail noise and vibration?
You should submit a rail noise and vibration complaint form.
You can find more information in our Guidelines on the Resolution of Complaints Over Railway Noise and Vibration.
Is your dispute related to accessibility for persons with disabilties?
You should submit an accessibility complaint form.
Is your dispute related to railway crossings?
Make sure to include all the required information set out in Crossings: A Resource Tool.
Have you been involved in any settlement discussions?
Parties are not permitted to file information related to settlement discussions that occurred outside of adjudication. This includes discussions that were held privately or informally, or through the Agency's facilitation or mediation services.
Examples of information related to settlement discussions include: offers to settle; admissions of liability; and concessions of weakness that have been made for the purpose of settling the dispute.
Note: If you want to file an application in a different format, you are responsible for providing all the information set out in Schedule 5 and following all filing requirements set out in the Dispute Adjudication Rules.