Can a decision of an administrative tribunal be held unreasonable?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Basi v. The Saanich Police Department, 2014 BCSC 593 (CanLII):

I accept the petitioner’s submission that the decision of an administrative tribunal which falls within a range of reasonable options may nevertheless be held unreasonable, if the tribunal’s process of reasoning to that decision is unreasonable. For example, if the tribunal used erroneous reasoning in assessing the credibility of witnesses, the court will set aside the tribunal’s decision if it was based on that flawed assessment. See Scott v. Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, supra, at paras. 31 - 32 and 38. Of course, this principle has developed in cases where drivers who were prohibited under s. 215.41 of the Act had applied for review of the prohibition by the superintendent. On such a review, the adjudicator is entitled to make findings of fact and to assess the credibility of the police officer and the driver. The civil standard of proof has to be applied. Before the adjudicator can confirm a driving prohibition, he or she must be satisfied that it is more probable than not, that the statutory requirements to justify the driving prohibition existed.

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