Notices to Counsel

Student on student abuse claims

May 9, 2014

The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) allows compensation to former students of the Indian Residential School system who suffered abuse by fellow students if certain criteria are met.

In some situations, a former student may be required to prove that adult staff knew or reasonably should have known that abuse of the kind was occurring between students residing at an IRS. Former students may have direct evidence, or Canada discloses this when it has been proven that staff did in fact have knowledge of student on student abuse.

Canada regularly provides updates to its admissions which are now accessible on the IAP Decisions Database. Adjudicators, Claimant Counsel and Canada's Representatives are encouraged to review new admissions with a view to determining whether any files which have been adjourned, pending possible new admissions, may lend themselves to moving forward to final submissions at this time.

Currently, the Secretariat has a project in place to manage remaining claims where allegations of student on student abuse have been made. This project has been developed by the Secretariat and is being monitored through the Technical Sub-Committee of the IAP Oversight Committee.

The objective of the project is to identify cases where specific allegations of staff knowledge have been made in the application. These cases offer the greatest likelihood of producing a decision which may form the basis for an admission that could assist not only that specific claim but other claims that have yet to be concluded. It is the intention of the project to case manage these files and prepare them for a hearing as soon as possible.

Pre-hearing teleconferences for knowledge-alleged cases

For cases where knowledge is alleged, an adjudicator will conduct teleconferences to help move the cases to hearing and possibly a decision. The cases will be grouped based upon two principal criteria:

  1. the likelihood of the case to generate useful new admissions;
  2. the likelihood that the case can move forward more quickly;

The first wave of teleconferences will focus on cases where legal counsel represents multiple knowledge-alleged student on student cases. Later waves of teleconferences may include self-represented claimants, cases where a lawyer has only one or two knowledge-alleged cases and cases from low volume schools or cases from schools without any knowledge-alleged cases.

Evidentiary packages will be distributed to the participating parties before the teleconference.

There may be cases where proceeding to a hearing without all the mandatory documents would help a knowledge-alleged case move to decision more quickly. In such cases, the Lead Adjudicator conducting the teleconference will have the discretion to send a case to the scheduling queue, even if mandatory documents are incomplete. Appropriate cases include, but are not limited to, cases where mandatory documents are expected to be complete within a reasonable time, or where the outstanding mandatory documents are unlikely to be of assistance.

The primary purpose of this project is to move cases to decision. Consequently, it is important that mandatory document delays not simply be shifted to the post-hearing stage.

A list of cases intended for the first wave of teleconferences will be circulated to participating counsel in the coming weeks. Teleconferences will begin in May and proceed through 2014.

Both new and existing admissions are available to counsel on the IAP Decisions Database https://ddb.iapedi.ca/fmi/iwp/res/iwp_home.html.

If you do not already have an account and you would like one, please send a new account request with your name, email address, and phone number by email to the following: IAPS_Chiefadjudicatorsoffice@irsad-sapi.gc.ca. Crawford Class Action Services will then directly contact you with site and login information.

If you have cases you feel would benefit from this process and wish to participate, please contact:

If you have cases where the application did not allege staff knowledge, but your client has evidence on this topic, please notify the Secretariat or Crawford Class Action Services using the following: