Review Panel Appeals
If you don't agree with the decision in a Director’s Review or a Director’s Hearing, you may appeal that decision to the Review Panel.
There are five steps to an Appeal before the Review Panel:
- Director's decision served to the party
- Party submits Notice of Appeal to the Reviews and Appeals Office
- Review Panel conducts case conference
- Review Panel conducts hearing
- Review Panel's decision served to the Appellant.
Pay attention to these areas of the appeal:
Timing of Notice of Appeal
You must deliver your Notice of Appeal (click here for the form) to the Reviews and Appeals Office no later than 15 days after receiving the Director’s decision. (See Rule 9.1).
You may make a written request to the Review Panel for more time. For more information on requesting more time please contact the Reviews and Appeals Office. You will need to provide enough details to explain why you need more time and why you would have a good case to argue in your Appeal.
Content of the Notice of Appeal
The appeal package you deliver to the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office must include the following (see Rule 9.2):
- A Notice of Appeal form, with all sections completed and signed. Include your reasons for appealing.
- A copy of the decision of the Director of Reviews and Appeals you are appealing.
- A copy of the Application for Director’s Review or Application for Director’s Hearing involved in your appeal. Include all attachments.
- Payment of $113 (non-refundable filing fee, including HST). Payment can be made by cheque or money order payable to the "Electrical Safety Authority.” or by credit card by contacting the ESA’s Customer Service Centre at 1-877-372-7233.
Review Panel Proceedings and Decision
After receiving your Notice of Appeal, the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office will deliver a Notice that the Case has been started with details about the process. (See Rule 9.5.)
The Reviews and Appeals Office may review the Notice of Appeal to make sure it is complete, that it is not too late to appeal, and that you have paid the fee. (See Rule 11.1.)
The Director of Review Panel Appointments will assign one or more members from the Review Panel Roster to be the Review Panel. This panel will have the power to decide the Case.
You can hire a lawyer or licensed paralegal to represent you in the appeal. Or, you can choose to represent yourself. The Review Panel will try to make the process understandable and accessible. But be aware that issues about evidence, procedure and the law sometimes can be hard to understand or manage.
The Review Panel may ask for more details, information or documents to better understand 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 information about any witnesses. (See Rules 12.2 and 12.3.) The two Parties in an appeal are You (as the “appellant”) and the ESA General Manager/Director who made the ESA Order or the ESA Director of Licensing who made the Notice you are disputing.
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. The Review Panel or the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office may decide to change this timing. (see Rule 12.4)
If there is an in-person hearing, each Party must deliver three paper copies to the Reviews and Appeals Office and one paper copy to the other Party. (See Rule 12.5.)
If you don't follow the requirements for disclosure of your evidence or witness information, you may not use that evidence, or call your witness to give evidence, unless allowed by the Review Panel. (See Rule 12.7.)
To better manage Cases, there may be some processes before any formal Hearing starts. You may receive a notice to participate in a Case Conference, which is a meeting of the Parties that is not a Hearing.
A Case Conference will discuss the issues, evidence, time deadlines, and processes in your Case. There may be discussions to see if the Parties can agree to resolve all or part of the Case without a full Hearing.
The Case Conference aims to help the Parties understand the case better and try to resolve, if possible. It also helps prepare the Parties and Review Panel to have a fair, efficient and accessible Hearing.
A Case Conference will usually take place by telephone. The Review Panel or person assigned to conduct the Case Conference may choose another way. (See Rule 13.)
Review Panel Hearings will not always mean everyone coming to a Hearing Room. The Hearing may take place by telephone conference call, or video or web conferencing. Some Hearings may be done by exchange of written documents and arguments.
The more typical in-person hearings take place in large meeting rooms. The Review Panel usually consists of three members. The Review Panel sits at the front. The Parties and their representatives (if any) sit at tables or desks in front of the Review Panel. In some cases, the Review Panel will have legal counsel in the Hearing Room or nearby to consult if needed.
Note that in-person Hearings are generally open to the public to attend as observers. However, you or the ESA Party may request a closed hearing.
- Each Party gives an opening statement (optional). This is an opportunity to give the Review Panel a short summary of the evidence and arguments. This can help the Review Panel prepare to deal with your witnesses and arguments in a more focused way.
- As the Appellant, you present your evidence first. This involves introducing documents or witnesses. You should already have delivered these documents or witness information as part of your “Disclosure."
All witnesses make a legal promise to tell the truth (the witness is “affirmed”). The Party who called the witness will ask questions. The other Party will then have a chance to ask questions (called cross-examination). The Review Panel may also have some questions.
After you have presented all your documents and witnesses, the other Party has a turn. In the appeal about ESA Order, the other Party is the ESA General Manager/Director who made the Order. In an appeal about a Notice, the other Party is the ESA Director of Licensing. A lawyer from the ESA represents the ESA.
- After presenting all the evidence, the Parties give their closing arguments. You as Appellant go first.
After the Hearing
After the Hearing, the Review Panel members meet to discuss the case, make a decision and write reasons for their decision. After finalizing the decision, the ESA Reviews and Appeals Office will deliver it to the Parties.
After all Parties have received the decision, the ESA will post the decision on the Review Panel Decisions section of the ESA website.
Appeal to Divisional Court
Any Party to an Appeal before the Review Panel may appeal the Panel's decision by filing an appeal with the Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court). For more information on how to do this, visit the Ontario Superior Court of Justice website.
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:
- Review and Appeal Processes: Step-by-Step Guides - you are here now
- ESA Rules of Procedures for Reviews and Appeals. The Rules provide guidance and predictability to help everyone in these processes.
- Regulations, Electrical Safety Code, and other legislation
- ESA Directors, Review Panel Roster, and the Reviews and Appeals Office
- Review Panel Decisions. These past cases have been heard by the Review Panel.