By Lauryn Kerr, CRT Legal Counsel
On May 1, 2020, the CRT’s rules will be updated.
We’re always listening to feedback from CRT staff, members, parties, representatives, and the public, in order to develop and improve our CRT Rules. This is just one way that we’re committed to giving British Columbians a modern and convenient way to access justice.
We’ve updated our Rules and Policies page with the new rules that will be effective on May 1, 2020.
What are Rules?
Courts and tribunals usually have rules. Rules are a bit like a complete instruction guide. They can also restrict parties and the court or tribunal from doing certain things.
Under the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, we’re required to have a set of rules. The CRT Rules help to make it a fair, transparent, and consistent way to resolve disputes. The CRT Rules have been in place since we started accepting strata property disputes for resolution in July 2016.
What’s different about the CRT Rules?
The CRT Rules are set by the Tribunal Chair. But we think they belong to all British Columbians. Because of that, we want the rules to be as accessible and understandable as possible.
If you’re familiar with court rules, you’ll probably find the CRT Rules to be shorter and simpler. We think long, complicated rules are just too confusing for most people to use. We’re trying to take a “less is more” approach with our rules and focus on the information that will be most useful to people.
How will people use the CRT Rules?
If we’re being totally honest – we hope people using the CRT don’t actually have to read the CRT Rules. We try to build processes and guides that speak for themselves, and give you the information you need, when you need it. But when people need or want to read our complete rules, they are available.
What changes have we made in the CRT Rules?
We have posted a table of changes which shows the changes we made, as well as a brief description of why we made each change.
Some of the significant changes to our rules include:
- Providing criteria that the tribunal may consider when a party makes a request to extend or shorten a timeline,
- Providing a limit on the length of an application for dispute resolution,
- Adding rules for withdrawing claims, and providing criteria that the tribunal may consider if a party wants to pursue a claim that they have already withdrawn, and
- Adding employment information as a category of information that the tribunal will not usually disclose to a person or organization that is not a party to the dispute.
As always, if you have questions or comments, please let us know. We rely on feedback to help us improve how we serve you.