The NWMB is a tribunal –a public body which makes decisions that affect peoples’ rights or interests. Accordingly, the NWMB is subject to administrative law, which is the law that governs public officials and tribunals who make such decisions. That law –through the courts, or through statutes or through both –requires that decisions be made following procedures that are fair to the affected parties. The doctrine of fairness dictates that the parties be provided timely notice, reasonable disclosure and adequate opportunity to respond, before a decision is made affecting their interests or rights.
The process that permits parties to be heard by a tribunal is generally referred to as a “hearing”. It is a basic principle of administrative law that all hearings should be held in public. A hearing can take many forms, depending on what level of procedural fairness is required in the circumstances.
Most of the decisions that the NWMB makes are to establish, modify or remove restrictions on fundamental Inuit harvesting rights - rights that are protected by the Canadian Constitution, which is the supreme law of Canada. Any NWMB decision that restricts Inuit harvesting rights is subject to a high standard of procedural fairness. To date, all Board hearings have addressed either Inuit harvesting rights or species at risk designations (which are closely linked to the NLCA principles of conservation and Inuit harvesting rights) for wildlife species of significant economic, social or cultural interest to Inuit.
Detailed explanations of the NWMB’s hearing procedures, submission requirements and database of current and past hearings can be found on the left menu.
As an institution of public government, the NWMB is committed to an overall policy of openness and transparency, and to the conducting as much of its wildlife management business as possible on the public record. Accordingly, all Board meetings –except in-camera and internal in-camera meetings –are open to the public.
Detailed explanations of the NWMB’s meeting procedures, submission requirements and database of current and past hearings can be found on the left menu.