Tribunal members are expert decision-makers trained in impartially listening to all sides of a dispute before arriving at a reasoned, fair, and impartial decision based on the applicable law. Areas of expertise include administrative, environmental, and natural resource law; biology; agrology; anthropology; forestry; environmental science; engineering; hydrology; and hydrogeology. The Chair assigns panels to ensure panels deciding appeals have the appropriate blend of legal knowledge, technical knowledge, and experience for each case they must decide.
Several members are also trained and experienced mediators, and the Chair also assigns members to assist parties to resolve issues under appeal themselves. The FAC recommends this approach, where possible, as a more efficient way to conclude the dispute. Additionally, where the parties involved in the dispute are able to create a solution together, they are often better equipped to address underlying issues and arrive at a more sustainable resolution.
FAC staff support the logistical and operational needs of the FAC and associated administrative tribunals. Staff are highly qualified, professional public servants that perform a variety of vital functions to the FAC, both in the organization’s internal operations and in the processing of appeals.