Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal)

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Rule 23 - Requests for Restricted Access

Request by a party

23.01 A party to an appeal may, prior to or upon the filing of a document, request that all or part of the document,

  1. not be accessible to the public; or
  2. not be accessible to another party except in accordance with an order made under Sub-rule 23.16 (a)(iii).

Denial of public access

23.02 a request that a document not be accessible to the public shall,

  1. state,
    1. the reasons for the request, including the details of the nature and extent of the specific harm that would result if the document was accessible to the public; and
    2. any objection to filing an abridged version of the document, and the reasons for such objection; and
  2. be filed with the Tribunal and served on the parties.

Tribunal Must Decide

23.03 Where a party has made a request under Sub-rule 23.02, the document shall not be made accessible to the public until the Tribunal decides otherwise.

Denial of access to the public and other parties

23.04 A request that a document not be disclosed to the public and to the other parties to the appeal shall,

  1. state,
    1. the reasons for the request, including the details of the nature and extent of the specific harm that would result if the document was disclosed to the public and to the other parties; and
    2. any objection to filing an abridged version of the document and the reasons for such objection; and
  2. be filed with the Tribunal and served on the other parties.

23.05 Where a party has made a request under Sub-rule 23.04, the document shall not be accessible to the public or any other party until the Tribunal decides otherwise.

Objections

23.06 Any person may object to a request for restricted accessibility by filing with the Tribunal and serving on the parties a notice of objection to the request within three business days of becoming aware of the request. Before the hearing of the matter, the Tribunal shall consider the document and determine if any other person should be made a party to the hearing of the request.

Contents of Notice

23.07 A notice of objection shall state the reasons for the objection and why access would be in the public interest.

Time for Reply

23.08 The party seeking restricted access shall have three business days following receipt of the notice of objection to file and serve a reply to it.

Criteria for granting restricted access

23.09 In considering a request for restricted access, the Tribunal shall consider whether the document may disclose,

  1. information related to public security; or
  2. intimate financial or personal information or other information of such a nature, having regard to all the circumstances, that the desirability of denying disclosure thereof in the interests of any person affected or in the public interest, outweighs the desirability of adhering to the principle that information related to an appeal be made available to the public or another party to the appeal.

Application of criteria

23.10 If the criteria set out in Sub-rule 23.09 are not met, the Tribunal shall order that the document or documents for which a request for restricted access was made be accessible to the public within five business days unless the party who requested restricted access chooses to withdraw the document.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

23.11 The Tribunal shall also consider the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Withdrawal of Document

23.12 Where the party chooses to withdraw the document or documents it or they shall be returned to the party by the Tribunal and the other parties and their counsel or agents to whom the document or documents may have been provided.

Third parties

23.13 The Tribunal will not make information marked "CONFIDENTIAL" about non-parties accessible to the public, without notice to the third party. The onus is on the party seeking release of confidential documents to give proof of notice to the affected non-party and the Tribunal.

Contents of order

23.14 If the criteria set out in Sub-rule 23.09 are met, the Tribunal may order,

  1. that the document or documents not be accessible to the public;
  2. that the document or documents not be accessible to the public or to the other parties to the appeal;
  3. that an abridged version of the document or documents be made available to the public or to the other parties to the appeal; or
  4. that the document or documents be made accessible to the public or the other parties to the appeal subject to such conditions as the Tribunal considers appropriate.

Limited access to confidential documents

23.15 Where the Tribunal orders that a document or documents not be made accessible to the other parties to the appeal the document or documents shall be disclosed to the other parties' counsel or agents subject to such conditions as the Tribunal considers appropriate.

Conditions of a restricted access order

23.16 Where the Tribunal directs that access to a document or documents be restricted,

  1. The document or documents shall be,
    1. marked "confidential";
    2. kept separate from the public record of the appeal; and
    3. accessible only by order of the Tribunal or as authorized by law.
  2. the document or documents may be made available to,
    1. staff of the Tribunal;
    2. the parties to the appeal unless an order has been made under Sub-Rule 23.14 (b);
    3. the counsel or agent for a party to the appeal;
    4. a consultant employed by a party to assist counsel or an agent, at the discretion of the Tribunal;
    5. such other person or persons as the Tribunal considers appropriate; and
  3. The Tribunal may impose such conditions upon access to a document or documents as it considers appropriate.

Declarations and undertakings

23.17 All persons who are permitted to receive a document or documents that are not accessible to the public, except members of the staff of the Tribunal, shall complete, execute and file with the Tribunal a Declaration and Undertaking in Form 2. Form 2 is appended to these rules of procedure.

Idem

23.18 All persons who are permitted to receive a document or documents that are not accessible to the public or to the other parties to the appeal, except members of the staff of the Tribunal, shall complete, execute and file with the Tribunal a Declaration and Undertaking in Form 2. Form 2 is appended to these rules of procedure.

Others not allowed to disclose

23.19 All persons who are permitted to receive a document or documents that are not accessible to the public are required to ensure that the document(s) are kept confidential and to ensure that no other individual shall copy or disclose the document(s).

Submissions containing references to restricted documents

23.20 If submissions contain references to the information contained in a restricted document or documents the portion of the submission describing the content of the restricted document or documents shall be submitted separately, marked "confidential", kept separate from the public record of the appeal and access to such material shall only be granted by order of the Tribunal or as required by law.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext. 519-826-3433
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E-mail: AFRAAT@ontario.ca
Author:
Creation Date: 22 November 2010
Last Reviewed: 22 November 2010