Decisions of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) are reviewable by the Federal Court of Canada.
This means that if an applicant has exhausted all redress options at the Board and believes that the decision contains an error of fact or law (or believes that any of the criteria under section 18.1 (4) of the Federal Courts Act are present), they have the right to apply for a judicial review of the decision. In a judicial review, the Court's role is to decide whether the Board made a reasonable decision based on the evidence before it, and whether it properly performed its function in making the decision. The Court's role is not to rule on the merits of the case (i.e. whether the applicant should receive a favourable decision from the Board).
The Court may uphold the Board's decision by dismissing the application for judicial review. Or, it may send the case back to the Board for a new hearing (see Federal Courts Act 18.1 (3)).
Judicial review is an important and constructive part of the adjudicative process—it is one way that interpretation of the law evolves and progresses over time. In the Board's case, Veterans can benefit from Court decisions that clarify and expand the understanding of disability pension law.
VRAB Rehear Decisions
The following are links to VRAB decisions made subsequent to a Federal Court judicial review decision ordering the Board to rehear the matter. When the Court overturns a Board decision and sends the case back for a new hearing, the Board rehears the case according to the Court’s directions. As for all cases, Board Members consider the evidence put forward by the Veteran and their representative, determine whether it fulfills the legislative requirements, and issue a written decision with reasons.
These rehear decisions will give you an appreciation of how the Board follows the Court’s directions and guidance, and how the new ruling can be different or the same as the ruling in the Board’s original decision.
- 2018-412 pdf
- 2017-857 pdf
- 2017-141 pdf
- 2016-304 pdf
- 2015-305 pdf
- 2015-692 pdf
- 2015-908 pdf
- 2014-120 pdf
- 2014-390 pdf
- 2013-149 pdf
- 2013-349 pdf
- 2013-976 pdf
Federal Court Decisions
The following are links to the Federal Court’s decisions which review a VRAB decision. These decisions will give you both an appreciation of the Court’s role and the reasons it may or may not find a Board decision to be within a range of possible, acceptable outcomes with respect to the facts and the law. The decisions are identified here by the Federal Court’s file number and are listed from newest to oldest.
Please note that all judicial reviews of VRAB decisions are available online and searchable here.