… a tribunal must be free to follow precedent even when it is not obliged to. It would be mischievous to oblige a tribunal to shut its eyes to its own previous decisions, policies, and interpretations. One of the very reasons to create specialized tribunals is to build up expertise, experience, and policies, and promote consistency and predictability. If any case like the present were an example of disqualifying bias, a busy expert tribunal would face a cruel dilemma. It could either ignore precedent and be unpredictable and inconsistent from one case to the next; or instead it could risk running out of members quickly, and get a growing backlog of pending cases which no fresh quorum could be found to hear... To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw and two Canadian authors, the law demands an open mind, not an empty mind.
McCauley Community League v. Edmonton (City)
2012 CarswellAlta 2389
Alberta Court of Appeal