When a complaint is not resolved through dialogue between the complainant and the broadcaster in question, the CBSC will review the concern and issue a determination. A CBSC Panel composed of public and industry representatives may be convened to adjudicate on the matter (see the section on the CBSC's Structure for further information on the CBSC Panels). Decisions rendered at meetings of the appropriate National or Regional Panel are only made public (including to the parties involved) once the written reasons have been drafted. Several weeks may separate the rendering of decisions from the release of written reasons as it is customary for a Panel to treat several, if not many, matters at a single session. Furthermore, the actual drafting of the reasons for each decision is necessarily a lengthier process. Since each decision text is separately drafted, it follows that not all decision texts will be available at the same moment following any particular National or Regional Panel meeting.
Not all matters which are unresolved through the broadcaster/complainant dialogue process will be adjudicated by a CBSC Panel. Where a matter has been previously decided in favour of the broadcaster by a CBSC Panel and the CBSC Secretariat is satisfied that no further ruling on this matter is necessary, the Secretariat may dispose of the matter through a "Summary Decision". The Summary Decision is a three to four page letter which explains to the complainant that the Secretariat sees no reason to forward this complainant for a decision of a CBSC Panel. Since Summary Decisions provide no new reasoning or interpretation of the codified standards, these decisions are not posted on the CBSC web site.
Recent decisions are generally accompanied by one or more appendices which contain the full correspondence between the complainant and the broadcaster (and the CBSC when relevant) and sometimes also transcripts of relevant portions of the broadcast examined.
Prior to 1993, decisions were released without written reasons and so do not provide particular elucidation as to the interpretation of the Codes.