The Civil Resolution Tribunal, or CRT, is Canada’s first online tribunal. It has been operating since July 2016. It is the world’s (or at least our) favourite online court because of its ability to get the job done.
The CRT has been receiving between 400 and 600 new dispute matters per month. This will increase with the expansion into motor vehicle accident injury claims.
The CRT has become the model online court. It has demonstrated that an online court or tribunal is a realistic and economical approach to resolving disputes in volume. It has genuinely improved access to justice aided by a combination of processes and effective use of technology.
The CRT currently resolves small claims disputes Can$5,000 and under, and strata property disputes of any amount. On April 1, 2019, the CRT expanded to include motor vehicle accident injury claims Can$50,000 and under.
Around 84% of completed disputes have so far been resolved through mediation / mutual agreement and 16% through an adjudication by a CRT member.
With the expansion into motor vehicle accident injury matters the CRT is expecting a caseload increase to around 31,000 per annum. At this level of activity, its annual financial budget is expected to be between Can$24.5m and Can$29m. That averages out to just under Can$1,000 per case.
Parties to a dispute are not required to have legal representation, which would not be viable for the low dollar-value disputes.
The CRT operates independently from government and ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) and is fully accessible, offering interpretation services in over 200 languages. It also provides fee waivers for people with low incomes and options to connect online, by email, fax, phone or mail and at Service BC locations throughout the province.
CRT’s website https://civilresolutionbc.ca