A complainant’s right to appeal or judicial review

While complainants under the Health Professions Act have a clear right to apply for reviews of Inquiry Committee decisions, the position of complainants under other statutes will depend on the wording of the enactment.

For example, a complainant under the former Dentists Act was deemed to have a right of appeal as “a person aggrieved” in Allen v. College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia, 2007 BCCA 75. Where, however, an engineer filed a complaint against another engineer and APEG’s Investigation Committee declined to recommend the complaint proceed, the complainant was found to lack standing to seek judicial review of the decision in Emerman v. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, 2008 BCSC 1186. The court reasoned that absent an interest conferred by statute, “the courts have generally found that a complainant does not have an interest in the proceeding.” The court found further that the governing statute did not provide any right of appeal to a complainant concerning any decision of the Investigation Committee.

Emerman v. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, 2008 BCSC 1186.