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Legal Guide

The Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) is comprised of judges of the Federal Court and lay members. The Tribunal hears reviewable practice matters, generally on application of the Commissioner. The judicial members alone may determine questions of law, while lay members may join in the determination of questions of fact, or mixed questions of fact and law. Appeals lie to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Any person may, with leave of the Tribunal, intervene in most proceedings before the Tribunal to make representations relevant to those proceedings in respect of any matter that affects that person.

Private parties may seek leave from the Tribunal to launch an application against a party for allegations of refusal to deal, resale price maintenance, exclusive dealing, tied selling and market restriction, where the private party demonstrates a reason to believe that he or she is directly, or substantially, affected in his or her business by the alleged conduct. The Competition Act contains several provisions designed to prevent strategic litigation, including a prohibition on cases proceeding where the Commissioner is investigating or has settled a matter, as well as provisions setting out the ability of the Tribunal to award costs against any party, the right of the Commissioner to intervene in proceedings, and a one-year limitation on the commencement of proceedings from the cessation of the conduct being questioned. Private parties cannot seek monetary compensation from the Tribunal.

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