Evidentiary Foundation (Principle)

From Riverview Legal Group


Caselaw.Ninja, Riverview Group Publishing 2021 ©
Date Retrieved: 2022-10-07
CLNP Page ID: 1919
Page Categories: [Evidence Law], [Legal Principles]
Citation: Evidentiary Foundation (Principle), CLNP 1919, <7E>, retrieved on 2022-10-07
Editor: Sharvey
Last Updated: 2022/05/18


Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 (CanLII)[1]

[102] To be reasonable, a decision must be based on reasoning that is both rational and logical. It follows that a failure in this respect may lead a reviewing court to conclude that a decision must be set aside. Reasonableness review is not a “line-by-line treasure hunt for error”: Irving Pulp & Paper, at para. 54, citing Newfoundland Nurses, at para. 14. However, the reviewing court must be able to trace the decision maker’s reasoning without encountering any fatal flaws in its overarching logic, and it must be satisfied that “there is [a] line of analysis within the given reasons that could reasonably lead the tribunal from the evidence before it to the conclusion at which it arrived”: Ryan, at para. 55[2]; Southam, at para. 56. Reasons that “simply repeat statutory language, summarize arguments made, and then state a peremptory conclusion” will rarely assist a reviewing court in understanding the rationale underlying a decision and “are no substitute for statements of fact, analysis, inference and judgment”: R. A. Macdonald and D. Lametti, “Reasons for Decision in Administrative Law” (1990), 3 C.J.A.L.P. 123, at p. 139; see also Gonzalez v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FC 750, 27 Imm. L.R. (4th) 151, at paras. 57-59.[3]

[103] While, as we indicated earlier (at paras. 89-96), formal reasons should be read in light of the record and with due sensitivity to the administrative regime in which they were given, a decision will be unreasonable if the reasons for it, read holistically, fail to reveal a rational chain of analysis or if they reveal that the decision was based on an irrational chain of analysis: see Wright v. Nova Scotia (Human Rights Commission), 2017 NSSC 11, 23 Admin. L.R. (6th) 110[4]; Southam, at para. 56. A decision will also be unreasonable where the conclusion reached cannot follow from the analysis undertaken (see Sangmo v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 17, at para. 21 (CanLII))[5] or if the reasons read in conjunction with the record do not make it possible to understand the decision maker’s reasoning on a critical point (see Blas v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FC 629, 26 Imm. L.R. (4th) 92, at paras. 54-66[6]; Reid v. Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, 2015 ONSC 6578[7]; Lloyd v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FCA 115, 2016 D.T.C. 5051[8]; Taman v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 FCA 1, [2017] 3 F.C.R. 520, at para. 47).[9]

[104] Similarly, the internal rationality of a decision may be called into question if the reasons exhibit clear logical fallacies, such as circular reasoning, false dilemmas, unfounded generalizations or an absurd premise. This is not an invitation to hold administrative decision makers to the formalistic constraints and standards of academic logicians. However, a reviewing court must ultimately be satisfied that the decision maker’s reasoning “adds up”.


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/j46kb>, retrieved on 2022-05-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Law Society of New Brunswick v. Ryan, 2003 SCC 20 (CanLII), [2003] 1 SCR 247, <https://canlii.ca/t/1g5lm>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gonzalez v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FC 750 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/g8jxk>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wright v. Nova Scotia (Human Rights Commission), 2017 NSSC 11 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/gwsrm>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sangmo v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 17 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/gmvjm>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  6. 6.0 6.1 Blas v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FC 629 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/g7r8s>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  7. 7.0 7.1 Reid v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, 2015 ONSC 6578 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/glr12>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lloyd v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FCA 115 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/gpfw3>, retrieved on 2022-05-18
  9. 9.0 9.1 Taman v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 FCA 1 (CanLII), [2017] 3 FCR 520, <https://canlii.ca/t/gws4d>, retrieved on 2022-05-18