In Parts 1 & 2 of the reconsideration series, Alcohol & Advocacy observed that the delegates of the General Manager of the Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Branch who decide enforcement hearings and make reconsideration decisions are not truly independent – that is to say that as employees (or agents) of the Branch they lack, or give the appearance of lacking, true administrative detachment from the very body that investigated and chose to prosecute an alleged contravention of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.
When Canadians think about “independent” decision makers, we often thing about judges who enjoy security of tenure (lifetime appointments), financial security (full time employment, benefits, etc.), and administrative independence (judges work out of courthouses, not government offices). With these hallmarks of judicial independence in place, persons appearing before the court can feel comfortable that the judge deciding their case is able to decide it on the merits, without interference or influence of any kind from any source, including another branch of government. Importantly judges are also required to appear independent.Continue reading