The process involves a neutral panel from the Resolution Canada roster of adjudicators who considers the arguments of the parties and renders a decision . The decision of the adjudicator/panelist is final and binding as far as CIRA is concerned, but does of course not preclude a subsequent appeal to the courts.
Under the CIRA rules a three person panel is mandatory if a complaint is contested, but in a case where no response is filed, the complainant has the option of using a one person panel, with a resultant reduction in cost. The CIRA process allows each party to nominate up to five panelists from the roster, and where there is agreement one or more of these panelists will be used, while any panelist chosen by only one of the parties is excluded. The process is much less formal than a court proceeding and the rules of evidence can be more flexible than in a court process.