As previously stated, government decision-makers must offer you the chance to be heard and then make an unbiased conclusion. The level of procedural fairness needed by law may vary depending on the scenario. It frequently relies on the sort of decision-making authority involved (discretionary, non-discretionary, or court-like). For example, when a police officer makes an arrest without a warrant, the officer needs only reasonable suspicion to perform a search incident to arrest. However, if an investigator is looking for evidence in a discretionary manner (i.e., not as part of an arrest), then they would need probable cause to conduct the search.
In general, more process is required when decisions have significant consequences because they affect your life directly. This includes cases where officers exercise discretion over who gets arrested and charged with a crime, as well as those situations where officers can reject filing charges against someone. Officers should also give you the opportunity to explain events that might otherwise be considered exigent circumstances, such as when an emergency medical situation exists or when there's a risk of evidence destruction.
Finally, officers must be neutral parties during investigations and hearings. This means they cannot participate in other cases involving you or people close to you and cannot initiate contact with you except during an official interview or hearing. If this rule is broken, others could perceive the officer as biased which could affect your case.
Fairness in government isn't just a matter of good manners.
The Duty of Fairness Decisions made by administrative bodies often have a more immediate and profound impact on people's lives than court decisions. Flowing from these decisions is a duty to act fairly and to make procedurally fair decisions. The duty of fairness can be found in many legal systems, including Canada's.
The duty of fairness can be divided into two components: procedural fairness and substantive fairness. Procedural fairness involves complying with certain procedures when making a decision. For example, when making a hiring or promotion decision, an employer must follow its own policies to ensure that all qualified candidates are considered for available positions. If it does not, then it may be seen as violating the duty of fairness. Substantive fairness relates to the content of decisions. For example, if an employer makes an unfair hiring decision by considering only one candidate's file without giving the other candidate the same opportunity, this would be an example of a substantively unfair decision.
In Ontario, the Public Service Employment Act requires employers to give their employees notice of any major changes in employment conditions, such as the introduction of new programs or the relocation of facilities. Employees have the right to seek another position with the company if they feel like it has been done in an unfair manner. If an employee feels like they have been denied their right to seek another position, they can bring a complaint to an arbitrator.
A Fairness Obligation The courts demand that decisions affecting persons' rights be made in a fair manner. This obligation of fairness implies that decision-making procedures must be fair. Judges are also obliged to be fair when they decide cases before them.
The concept of fairness has been defined as "the absence of prejudice or bias" against someone. Or, as other definitions state it, fairness is doing right by everyone without favoring anyone. In law, the concept of fairness requires that equal treatment be given to all those who come before the court. This means that no person should be denied their day in court nor should any person be granted more rights than another.
Fairness is such a important principle that laws have been passed to ensure that it is observed. For example, judges are required by law to be fair when deciding cases before them. Also, institutions have been created to protect individuals from being discriminated against because of their race, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other factor. These protections include anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit employers and others from treating people differently because of such factors. Finally, citizens have the right to bring lawsuits against anyone who has injured them; this includes the right to be heard by a judge or jury and to have their case decided based on evidence presented in an impartial setting.
Correctness is the standard of review for determining whether a decision-maker has satisfied with the responsibility of procedural fairness. This responsibility includes providing an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence, as well as acting on this evidence in reaching a decision. Providing only a pre-determined outcome before hearing argument or presenting evidence violates the right to procedural fairness.
An example of a procedure that does not provide procedural fairness is one where the deciding body reviews written submissions from others without allowing oral arguments or viewing other evidence. Such a process cannot correct errors in decisions because there is no way for those affected to challenge these decisions.
In general, administrative proceedings are reviewed under the arbitrary and capricious standard when reviewing questions of law and fact, but they are reviewed de novo if there is no agency expertise involved. The burden is on the party challenging the administrative determination to show that the decision was unlawful or unreasonable.
A procedural due process claim has three elements: (1) the plaintiff must have a property interest; (2) the defendant must have deprived him of this interest without due process of law; (3) the defendant's action must not have been reasonable.