Practice Note #9 –
Raising a Constitutional Question
Practice Note #9 – Raising a Constitutional Question PDF (168KB)
The purpose of this Practice Note is to set out the procedure for a party that wishes to raise a constitutional question.
The Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to decide on all questions related to the validity of the administrative monetary penalties issued for violations in the agriculture and agro-food regime, including constitutional questions. Thus, a party may challenge the constitutionality of a legislative provision, whether an act or a regulation, that is under the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.
A party that wishes to challenge the constitutionality of a legislative provision must inform the Tribunal as soon as possible and comply with the requirements below.
Notice of constitutional question
When a party raises a constitutional question, it must, with the necessary adjustments, comply with the requirements of section 57 of the Federal Courts Act. It must advise the provincial governments as well as the federal government, at least 10 days before the day of the hearing so that they are able to prepare for and attend the proceedings.
While the minimum notice is 10 days before the hearing date, it is preferable to provide earlier notice, for instance during the mandatory case management conference, in order to avoid delays in the hearing process.
Request in writing
The party that wishes to challenge the constitutionality of a legislative provision must do so in writing. The request must clearly include the following information:
- The specific provision(s) for which the constitutional question is being raised;
- The legal reasoning that supports the request;
- A statement of facts and description of the evidence in support of the request; and
- The remedy sought.
Failure to comply with requirements
Failure to raise a constitutional question according the prescribed procedure and within the prescribed deadlines may lead to an order by the Tribunal concluding that the violation occurred, regardless of the constitutional question raised.
Practice Note #9 is approved by the Tribunal’s Chairperson on September 28th, 2020.
Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal