About Articles The below articles are published by the Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Members are encouraged to submit articles. About Articles

Editors: Saba Ahmad and Jessica Young


Racial Profiling: How Do You Fight a Deeply Ingrained Thought System?

  • May 26, 2017
  • Richa Sandill

Despite the Ontario Court of Appeal’s guidance in its seminal ruling on racial profiling in R v. Brown fourteen years ago, this continues to be a pervasive and widespread issue. This was highlighted in a recent joint program held by the OBA Criminal Justice and Constitutional, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Law Sections.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

The Torture Cases: Interview with Phil Tunley, Trial Lawyer Representing Canadian Victims of Torture in a Suit Against Canada

  • May 08, 2017
  • Interview by Saba Ahmad

In February, 2017, the plaintiffs’ months-long trial was set to begin before the Honourable Justice Lederer. Following a recently announced settlement, lawyer Phil Tunley provides insights about trial preparation, client management and advancing Charter claims in the context of some of the worst human rights abuses ever litigated in Canada.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

What is the Cost of Racial Profiling?

  • May 02, 2017
  • Laura J. Freitag and Ranjan K. Agarwal

Note on Elmardy v. Toronto Police Services Board - a recent decision by Ontario's Divisional Court, which awarded $50,000 for Charter breaches against the TPSB and a police officer in its employ.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

The Supreme Court of Canada Nomination Process - Q&A with CBA Nominee to the Advisory Board, Susan Ursel

  • April 26, 2017
  • Karen Ensslen

In August, 2016, the Prime Minister appointed an independent advisory board to review applications and propose candidates for a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada. The committee presented a list of qualified candidates to the Prime Minister, resulting in the appointment of Mr. Justice Malcome Rowe of Newfoundland to the Court in October 2016. The Independent Advisory Board reported to Parliament and publicly released a report of its process in November, 2016.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

The Road to Equality: Non-Discrimination Principles in Human Rights Law and Transportation Law

  • April 24, 2017
  • Rory Gillis

The principle of non-discrimination is now well established in Canadian human rights law. Each of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments prohibit discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities, services, and accommodation, or some combination thereof. While this principle is rightly considered to be within the domain of human rights law, a non-discrimination principle also exists in a very different context: transportation law.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

OBA Institute 2017: CCLHR’s Program Summary

  • April 19, 2017
  • Renata Antoniuk and Daniel Hastie

On Friday, February 10, 2017, the Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law Section (“CCLHR”) hosted a program on human rights law in the provision of services. The program was chaired by Fiona Campbell, an Associate at Goldblatt Partners (Ottawa), Nicola Simmons, a Partner at Keel Cottrelle LLP, and Jessica Young, Senior Legal Counsel at eHealth Ontario. The following are some highlights of the program.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

Policy Statement by the Ontario Human Rights Commission: Clarifying the Scope of Requests for Medical Documentation during the Accommodation Process

  • April 19, 2017
  • Karina Pylypczuk

The Ontario Human Rights Commission recently released a policy position on medical documentation and disability related accommodation. While not binding on employers, housing providers, and service providers, Commission policies provide insight into the Commission’s position, which accommodation providers can consider in developing and implementing their own human rights policies and in addressing any human rights disputes, which may arise.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

Funding Charter Litigation: Lawyers reflect on the revival of a cancelled program

  • March 20, 2017
  • Kiran Kang

On February 7, 2017, the Federal Liberal government officially confirmed its commitment to reinstate the Court Challenges Program. The Program, cancelled in 2006 within weeks of the election of Stephen Harper’s first minority government, provided funding to individuals and groups seeking to enforce constitutional minority language rights and equality rights.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

Human Rights Law in the Provision of Services

  • February 02, 2017

This program features an update on service-based applications to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, including emerging trends and key considerations when bringing or defending a service-based claim, followed by three panels exploring challenging and developing areas of service-based human rights applications.

Update on Human Rights Damages: Is there really an upward trend?

  • February 02, 2017
  • Fiona Campbell and Erin Moores

In 2008, awards for general damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect became fully uncapped in Ontario. At the time, many human rights lawyers speculated that these changes could lead to a significant increase in awards by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Recent case law both in Ontario and elsewhere in the country has caused some to wonder whether general damages awards might be trending upwards.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law