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Administrative Law and Procedural Fairness in Ontario


Administrative law is the law type that manages the operations of government bodies. The government bodies engage in rulemaking activities. Administrative law is a key component of the public law. The administrative units are part of regulative schemes in issue like taxation, international trade, minimum wage, manufacturing, transportation, police law and immigration. Administrative law increased significantly in the twentieth century.

The increase results from the introduction of many government agencies to manage the enhanced socio-economic and political aspects of human interaction (Garner 597). Common law countries like Canada have administrative courts that change these decisions. The government of Ontario, as the most populous province in Canada, uses aspects of the administrative law. Minimum wage regulation is one role of the Administrative law that this research paper analyzes (Lind 229).

Procedural fairness illustrates the steps (procedures) used in the decision-making process, instead of the exact outcome achieved. Having fair and proper approach in any decision-making process is vital (Rawls 80). The decision makers, who adhere to fair procedures in the decision-making process, achieve fair and just decisions. One key aspect of procedural fairness involves discussions on legal proceedings, and also administration of justice (Lind 201). Procedural fairness is determined by; due process, natural justice and fundamental justice. Procedural fairness ideas are also important in resolving conflicts and allocating resources, responsibilities, benefits, and burdens, in the non-legal environments.

Procedural fairness entails justice and transparency in the process of making decisions. However, this is in contrast to distributive justice and retributive justice. Distributive justice entails fair resource distribution; while retributive justice illustrates fair punishment (Rawls 78). Procedurally fair processes entail taking into consideration the opinions and interest of all stakeholders or parties, in decision making.

Certain procedural fairness theories explain that fair processes result in favorable or equitable results, even if restorative and distributive justice requirements achievement is not possible. The outcome of greater interpersonal interactions illustrated in the process of procedural fairness is stronger in influencing the justice perception in conflict resolution (Garner 627).

Procedural Fairness and Communication

In communication aspects, procedural fairness ensures the perception of justice in the outcomes. Fair procedures assist in communicating that employees are significant members of the society (Rawls 90). The top leadership of the Ontario government should ensure employee participation in all matters affecting them. Minimum wage is a labor issue; the mayor of Ontario must invite representatives of the labor movement in any meeting discussing labor matters.

The formal procedures in the decision-making process analyze procedural fairness. Procedural fairness is significant in communication and work environment because it ensures appropriate processes which enable employees to contribute in employment decision-making, fair treatment and appraisal process. Giving disgruntled members of the society a voice, whether instrumental or not, is sufficient enough for the decision-making process to be seen as fair (Garner 610).

The voice ensures respect or value feelings that show the importance of interpersonal factors. In a society, this is vital because people became more valued and respected. The result in improvement in government relationship with people, and hence, enhanced service delivery to the residents of Ontario (Rawls 86). Adequate consideration of the social and interpersonal issues in the procedure creates satisfaction when hearing voices. For procedural fairness to be a success, the political leadership of Ontario government should strictly adhere to the Leventhal’s rules. The six rules are; consistency, ethicality, correct-ability, suppression of bias, representativeness and accuracy (Lind 227).

The Ontario government should be consistent in ensuring fairness to all citizens. In the case under study, the Premier must not send confusing signals on the minimum wage level. An agreement is in place, and the leadership must respect the agreement in all situations. The minimum wage is $10.25 per hour; all labor stakeholders must adhere to this agreement. The government must also accept correction; this is through the fair opinions of the parties involved.

The offended party must have adequate opportunity of expressing dissent, and if appropriate request for an apology from the leadership of the government. Procedural fairness is representative. All parties to an issue must adequate participate in decision (Rawls, 91). The Premier of Ontario should consult both business leaders and employees when addressing labor matters. Accuracy is crucial in decisions. There should be no doubtful or confusing issues in the entire process of decision making. Suppressing bias enables adequate consideration of all the opinion and interest of parties involved (Rawls, 79).

Procedural Justice Ideas

The theory of justice illustrates three ideas applied in procedural fairness. The concepts are; perfect procedural justice, imperfect procedural justice, and pure procedural justice (Garner 609). Perfect procedural justice entails two issues. First is an independent criterion for fair procedural outcome. Second is the process that determines fair outcomes. Imperfect procedural justice has an independent criterion for achieving fair outcome.

However, it does not address the method of achieving fair outcome. Pure procedural justice illustrates no criterion for just outcome results, apart from the actual procedure. The leadership of Ontario government, Premier, should implement the perfect procedural justice. The idea has perfect criterion for fairness and justice, hence suitable for government agencies. The criterion leads to fair and acceptable results in the decision-making process (Lind 214).

Fairness Models

There are several views on the aspects of fair procedure. The views mainly fall in three categories; outcome, balancing and participation models (Lind 224). Outcome model shows that, fairness is through processing the required results. In the case study, the desired outcome of the minimum wage negotiations is the adherence to the government decision on the incremental increase in the wage. Fairness to employees is, therefore, realized because the wage will not reduce, and the employers because the wage is $10.25. The enhanced staff motivation will improve employee productivity. Balancing model shows the costly nature of fairness.

The model relates the costs with the expected process benefits. The challenge to this model is that, accepting false positive results is due to minimizing unwanted costs (Rawls 89). In our case study, the Premier will not reduce minimum wage, so as to minimize industrial actions like labor unrest.

The participation model requires enough decision making opportunities for all parties concerned with the process (Rawls 91). The Premier of Ontario should have invited representatives of the business leaders and employees in the minimum wage discussion as this would have provided a favorable agreement because consideration of the interests of employees. A newly proposed model for procedural fairness is called group engagement model. Group engagement approach integrates past theories in illustrating the psychological aspects in procedural justice (Lind 202). The model illustrates that the fairness process of a group members’ identity; hence engagement methods.

Group behavior is mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory behavior is a key aspect of groups; hence, the influence of group members is through results or incentives. The core group values determine discretionary behavior. Social identity of group members greatly determines the fair process employed. In the case, trade unions view greatly influence opinions of employees (Rawls 92). Trade unions support continuous increase in the minimum wage, due to the worsening economic environment of Ontario. The society supports this view because majority of members are employees.

Baker v. Canada

The case illustrates administrative law based on to make sufficient decisions. Five issues determine fairness duty (Garner 618). The first factor entails decision type. In our study case, the decision is used to solve minimum wage dispute between business leaders and workers. Effective solution illustrates fairness. The second factor is the significance of the interest under discussion. Economic wellbeing of workers in Ontario is crucial. That is the reason the Premier publicly stuck by his decision of giving employees a rate of $10.25 per hour. The $10.25 compensation level for workers is adequate. The third factor is statutory requirements for fair decisions.

Decisions are fair if dissenting individuals or groups have enough appeal avenues (Lind 220). Government decisions in Ontario are, usually, subjected to criticism and appeal; hence, the procedure is considered fair. The fourth factor entails appropriate expectations. Decision process must be adequately protected; this leads to favorable results for all stakeholders. Fifth factor is that decision makers should access several choices of procedures and processes. The selection of the procedure with the highest benefit or expectation levels ensured fairness (Garner 620).


Procedural justice does not apply to all government decisions. They, usually, apply to decisions that negatively affect interests of individuals or corporations (Lind 216). For example, the continuous increase of minimum wage negatively affects profitability of employers due to worsening economic conditions of Ontario. Procedural fairness is also applicable when individual or organizations possess legitimate expectations. It protects legal rights and expectations (Lind 219).

In the case, employees in Ontario have legitimate expectations of minimum wage increments. The leadership of the government should not ignore this right and expectation. The concept of procedural fairness positively affects the legislative process of the government. The concerns of procedural fairness illustrate the due process issue, or natural justice concept (Garner 606). Natural justice, usually, binds private and public organizations. Due process mainly applies to state agencies.

Works Cited

Garner, James. “Administrative Law,” The Yale Law Journal, 70: 597–627. 2004. Print.

Lind, Edgar. The social psychology of procedural justice. New York: Plenum Press. 2008. Print.

Rawls, Antonio. Theory of Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2012. Print.

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OctoStudy. "Administrative Law and Procedural Fairness in Ontario." March 23, 2022. https://octostudy.com/administrative-law-and-procedural-fairness-in-ontario/.


OctoStudy. 2022. "Administrative Law and Procedural Fairness in Ontario." March 23, 2022. https://octostudy.com/administrative-law-and-procedural-fairness-in-ontario/.


OctoStudy. (2022) 'Administrative Law and Procedural Fairness in Ontario'. 23 March.

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