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 Teagan Markin


Make Human Rights Education Mandatory for the Legal Profession

  • October 13, 2023
  • Lorin MacDonald

Section Vice-Chair, Lorin MacDonald advocates for mandatory human rights education for the legal profession in Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Read an excerpt here.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum

Opinion: Faith-based Health Care Offers Vital Access to Medical Assistance in Living

  • August 25, 2023
  • Brian Bird and Derek Ross

Whether to participate in MAID is a profound and complex ethical question—a question on which the B.C. Supreme Court recognized that “thoughtful and well-motivated people can and have come to different conclusions.” In a country that cherishes diversity and dignity for all, we must support diverse communities of care and, in turn, better options and outcomes for all patients - many of whom seek, and deserve better access to, medical assistance in living.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum

Ontario Superior Court Dismisses Climate-Related Charter Application

  • June 16, 2023
  • Kimberly Potter, partner, Fasken; Anastasia Reklitis, associate, Fasken

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released Mathur v. Ontario, a landmark climate litigation decision. The seven applicants (between the ages of 15 and 27), sought declarations of constitutional invalidity related to Ontario’s legislated greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. The court expressed sympathy for the applicants’ environmental concerns but concluded that based on “the current state of the law” it could not find Charter violations in the circumstances before it.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum

Expanding Medical Assistance in Dying Will Have Devastating Effects on Canadians with Disabilities

  • March 10, 2023
  • Lorin MacDonald

There is a proliferation of news reports of people with disabilities considering medical assistance in dying (MAiD). As a human rights lawyer, a disability advocate, and a woman born with a disability, I find these trends troubling. I believe MAiD is the outcome of Hobson’s choice, which refers to the illusion that multiple options are available. In a “take it or leave it” scenario, “leaving it” is no longer tenable for many Canadians with disabilities, given today’s climate.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum

Court of Appeal Finds Section 8 of the Charter's Privacy Protections Apply to Employees in School Workplaces

  • January 30, 2023
  • Andrew Easto

This detailed case summary reviews the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision in Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario v. York Region District School Board. In this groundbreaking decision, the Court of Appeal held that section 8 of the Charter applies to the actions of principals conducting workplace investigations. Further, the Court found that the Board’s investigation violated the teachers’ reasonable expectation of privacy and constituted an unreasonable search under section 8.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Education Law, Labour and Employment Law and 1 more..., Student Forum

Robust Public Debate Needed on Use of Notwithstanding Clause

  • November 18, 2022
  • Robert Leckey. Originally published on Policy Options

The author explains why, in his view, Canada is overdue for a robust public debate about the circumstances in which using the notwithstanding clause is legitimate.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum

Using Gladue Jurisprudence: An Exploration

  • March 31, 2022
  • Naomi Sayers

Exploring the decision in Gladue and its applicability to Section 7 of the Charter.

Aboriginal Law, Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum

Is Canada Closer to Enacting Modern Slavery Legislation? A Brief Update.

  • March 31, 2022
  • Nicky Kim and Giovanna Di Sauro

Discussing the recent and forthcoming measures on modern slavery in Canada, including: the impact of the Canadian-United States-Mexico Agreement (“CUSMA”); Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to Canada’s Minister of Labour; and the development and status of Canada’s modern slavery legislation.

Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law, Student Forum