Wednesday, September 06, 2017

University Of Ottawa Will Host Revived Court Challenges Program

According to the CBC, the University of Ottawa will host a revived Court Challenges Program to help Canadians launch constitutional rights cases in court.

The Program, which provided funding to help minority, women's and other disadvantaged groups to help them launch "test court cases" challenging laws that may violate equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was dismantled under the previous federal government.

According to the CBC story:
"The university will create a new Canadian Centre for the Court Challenges Program, which will be independent of the school aside from administrative support."

"Its role will be to assist the two expert panels who decide which cases to fund: one devoted to official-language cases and the other to human rights (...)"

"[Professor Richard] Clément said the centre will soon hire a small staff, including two lawyers to receive and analyze requests. The lawyers will present each case to the relevant expert panel, who will decide independently whether to provide funding."
The government has committed to spend $5 million per year on the program.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the Court Challenges Program include (older links may not work):
  • Court Challenges Program Challenged? (September 7, 2006): "Newspapers of the CanWest Global chain distributed a Janice Tibbetts article today that claims that the federal government may be considering the elimination of the Court Challenges Program as part of an overall review of government programs (...) The CanWest News Service article entitled Funding for minority groups to challenge federal laws under review reports that the program, first set up under former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, 'has been the target of harsh criticism from social conservatives and critics of so-called judicial activism, who assert the initiative is a slush-fund for left-leaning groups to circumvent the will of elected legislators by challenging them in court'."
  • Lawsuit to Reinstate Federal Court Challenges Program (January 8, 2008): "According to [the Osgoode Hall Law School blog] The Court, 'Last month, a coalition of eight organizations representing equality-seeking communities announced that it will file a motion in Federal Court to intervene in a case challenging the decision of the federal government to cut funding to the Court Challenges Program (...) While operating, the program funded cases dealing with issues such as same-sex marriage, accessibility rights for people with disabilities, sex discrimination, violence against women, criminal law provisions regarding the use of disciplinary force against children, and racial discrimination in the immigration system'. "
  • Impact on Language Minorities from Court Challenges Program Cancellation (January 22, 2008): "The most recent issue of the Canadian government's Weekly Checklist of official publications lists the December 2007 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages on the Court Challenges Program." 
  • Partial Restoration of Court Challenges Program (June 20, 2008): "The government is only reestablishing the official languages minority component of the program, under the name Program to Support Linguistic Rights. However, funding has not been restored for Charter challenges by other groups such as ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians or people with disabilities."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:59 pm


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