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Specific Claims Resolution Act (S.C. 2003, c. 23)

Assented to 2003-11-07

Marginal note:Acting after termination of appointment
  •  (1) A person who has ceased to be an adjudicator of the Tribunal may, with the authorization of the Chief Adjudicator and for the period that the Chief Adjudicator fixes, take part in the disposition of any matter in which the person became engaged while holding office as an adjudicator, and a person so authorized is, for that purpose, deemed to be an adjudicator.

  • Marginal note:If adjudicator unable to act

    (2) If an adjudicator who participates in a panel charged with deciding an issue is, for any reason, unable to take part in the decision, the Chief Adjudicator may, taking into account sections 48 and 52, authorize the remaining adjudicators of the panel to make the decision.

Marginal note:Notice to others
  •  (1) If a panel’s decision of an issue in relation to a specific claim might, in the opinion of the panel, significantly affect the interests of a province, first nation or person that has not previously been notified of the claim under subsection 36(1), the Tribunal shall so notify them. The parties may make submissions to the panel as to whose interests might be affected.

  • Marginal note:Effect of failure to notify

    (2) Failure to provide notice does not invalidate any decision of the panel.

Marginal note:Party status

 The Tribunal shall grant status as a party in a specific claim to a province that has agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for that claim.

Marginal note:Conduct of hearings
  •  (1) Subject to this Act, a panel shall conduct its hearings in any manner that it considers fit.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) In deciding how to conduct a hearing, a panel shall have regard to any submissions that a party has made regarding the manner in which the hearing is to be conducted and to the importance of achieving an expeditious resolution.

Marginal note:Public hearings
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), panel hearings shall be public.

  • Marginal note:Confidential hearings

    (2) A panel may, on application by a party, take any appropriate measures and make any order that the panel considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of a hearing if the panel is satisfied that the reasons for confidentiality outweigh the societal interest that the hearing be conducted in public.

Marginal note:Right to cross-examine

 A party may cross-examine a witness

  • (a) as of right, if the witness is called by a party adverse in interest; and

  • (b) with leave of the panel, in any other case.

Marginal note:Defences of Crown

 Subject to section 54, section 24 of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act applies in respect of a specific claim as if it were a proceeding.

Marginal note:Claims to be decided together

 If a panel determines that specific claims are subject to one claim limit under subsection 56(2) or that they present common issues of law or fact that create a risk that decisions on the claims will be irreconcilable, it shall, unless the parties otherwise agree, decide the claims together.

Marginal note:Suspension

 If a panel, in considering a specific claim, determines that a first nation has a specific claim or a potential specific claim based on the same or substantially the same facts and relating to the same assets as the specific claim, or that there is any other specific claim or potential specific claim by a first nation that must be before the Tribunal to enable a full resolution of the specific claim, it shall suspend proceedings with respect to the specific claim until, in the case of another specific claim, it is before the Tribunal or, in the case of a potential specific claim, it has been filed under this Act and is before the Tribunal.

Marginal note:Withdrawal
  •  (1) A party may withdraw an issue from the Tribunal at any time before the Tribunal gives its decision on it and, in such a case, the panel shall not render a decision on it.

  • Marginal note:Costs

    (2) A panel may award costs on the withdrawal of an issue from the Tribunal.

  • Marginal note:Not a bar

    (3) Withdrawal of an issue does not bar any subsequent consideration of the issue by the Tribunal.

Marginal note:Evidence not admissible in other proceedings

 Subject to subsection 71(1), evidence of anything said, any position taken or any admission made by a person in the course of a panel hearing is not admissible in any other proceeding.

Marginal note:Advance notice of decision on compensation

 Not later than 14 days before a panel renders its decision on an issue of compensation, the Tribunal shall give notice to the parties and to the Chief Executive Officer that the decision will be rendered.

Marginal note:Written reasons and publication

 A panel shall give written reasons for its decisions. The Tribunal shall cause the reasons and the decisions to be published in the manner that the Tribunal decides.

Marginal note:Judicial review
  •  (1) A decision of a panel is subject to judicial review under the Federal Court Act.

  • Marginal note:Final and conclusive

    (2) Subject to subsection (1), a panel’s decisions are not subject to appeal or review and, except for decisions with respect to interlocutory issues, are final and conclusive between the parties in all proceedings in any court or tribunal arising out of the same or substantially the same facts.

  • Marginal note:Exception re decision of validity

    (3) Despite subsection (2), a decision of a panel that a specific claim is valid is conclusive only under this Act and, except for the purposes of judicial review under subsection (1), any evidence of the decision is inadmissible before any other court or tribunal.

Marginal note:Release and indemnity

 If a panel makes an order that a specific claim is invalid or awards compensation for a specific claim,

  • (a) each respondent party is released from any cause of action, claim or liability to the claimant and any of its members of any kind, direct or indirect, arising out of the same or substantially the same facts on which the claim is based; and

  • (b) the claimant shall indemnify each respondent party against any amount that the respondent party becomes liable to pay as a result of a claim, action or other proceeding for damages brought by the claimant or any of its members against any other person arising out of the same or substantially the same facts.

Marginal note:Payment of award
  •  (1) An award of compensation against the Crown may be paid by instalments, but the award must be fully paid within five years after the date of the Tribunal’s decision.

  • Marginal note:Interest

    (2) The unpaid balance of the award bears simple interest from the date of the award, at a rate equal to the lowest rate of interest quoted by banks to the most credit-worthy borrowers for prime business loans, as determined and published by the Bank of Canada for the month in which the award was made, which shall be paid together with each instalment.


Marginal note:Abandonment

 A specific claim may not be continued if the claimant

  • (a) commences, before another tribunal or a court, a proceeding against the Crown that is based on the same or substantially the same facts as the claim, or that relates to the same assets as the claim and could result in a decision irreconcilable with that of the claim, unless the claimant immediately has the proceeding adjourned; or

  • (b) takes a new step in, or does not continue to adjourn, a proceeding mentioned in paragraph (a) or in subsection 26(3).

Marginal note:Public documents
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), documents filed with the Commission or with the Tribunal are public documents.

  • Marginal note:Confidential documents

    (2) The Commission, on the request of a party, or a panel of the Tribunal, on the application of a party, may take any measures that it considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of a document if it is satisfied that the interest of a party or a person that the document not be disclosed outweighs the societal interest that it be public.

Marginal note:Review
  •  (1) Not earlier than three years and not later than five years after the coming into force of this section, the Minister shall undertake and complete a review of the mandate and structure of the Centre, of its efficiency and effectiveness of operation and of any other matters related to this Act that the Minister considers appropriate. In carrying out the review, the Minister shall give to first nations an opportunity to make representations.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) On completion of the review, the Minister shall cause to be prepared and sign a report that sets out a statement of any changes to this Act, including any changes to the functions, powers or duties of the Centre or either of its divisions, that the Minister recommends.

  • Marginal note:Tabling and referral of report

    (3) The Minister shall submit to each House of Parliament a copy of the report on any of the first 90 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister signs the report, and each House shall refer the report to the appropriate committee of that House.

Marginal note:Opportunity to make representations regarding appointments

 The Minister shall, before making a recommendation under section 5 or subsection 20(1) or 41(1), notify claimants — which notification may be by ordinary mail sent to their latest known addresses — that they may, during a period that the Minister specifies of not less than 30 days after the date of the notice, make representations in respect of appointments to the office or offices in question.

Marginal note:Avoiding of conflicting conduct
  •  (1) At no time shall a person who was appointed under section 5 or subsection 20(1) or 41(1) act for any party in connection with any specific claim in relation to which they performed any work or concerning which they obtained significant information during their term in office.

  • Marginal note:One-year non-employment period

    (2) Persons who were appointed under section 5 or subsection 20(1) or 41(1) shall not, within a period of one year after the end of their term in office, accept any employment with or enter into a contract for services with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development or a first nation that had a pending specific claim — before the Commission or the Tribunal, in the case of the Chief Executive Officer, or, in the case of a commissioner or adjudicator, before the Division of the Centre to which the person was appointed — at any time during their term in office.


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