Hot Headlines in Human Rights(Archived Video Stream) 

Feb. 28, 2012
Toronto Online

This is the archived version of a program presented on February 28, 2012.  This will not become available until 2 weeks after the orginal program date.  To order this format please click on the "REGISTER NOW" button.   

In two decisions released within one week of one another, the Supreme Court of Canada changed the landscape for human rights law. In BC Workers' Compensation Board v. Figliola, the Supreme Court reduced the discretion of human rights tribunals to (re)hear allegations of discrimination where another administrative tribunal has already considered the issue. In doing so, the Court adopted a somewhat similar approach as the Ontario Divisional Court in its earlier decision in The College of Nurses v. Trozzi. In the Canadian Human Rights Commission & Mowat v. AG Canada decision, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal does not have the authority to award legal costs, including costs of expert witnesses.Our expert panel will discuss the several implications of these cases on human rights and administrative law, including:

  • What are the factors that human rights tribunals should consider in determining whether or not
    another proceeding has appropriately dealt with the discrimination allegations?
  • What challenges do we face in advising prospective clients about human rights claims? What is
    the appropriate forum now? What are the risks to the client?
  • Do Figliola and Trozzi set new limits on the legislative primacy of human rights legislation?
  • Should human rights tribunals have the ability to order costs, and will the results in Mowat mean
    that more human rights claims will be pursued in the courts rather than at the tribunal?

What are the implications of the Supreme Court's decisions in these cases? Do they strike the appropriate balance in ensuring that human rights claimants can advance their claims, while at the same time preventing "lateral poaching" and "forum shopping"?

Pamela Chapman,
Arbitrator, Mediator, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
Cathy Pike, Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Ranjan Agarwal, Bennett Jones LLP

Geri Sanson,
SANSON LAW OFFICE Professional Corporation


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    For 1 to 3 Participants
    CBA Member: $40*
    Non-Member: $65*

    For 4 or more Participants
    CBA Member: $65*
    Non-Member: $100*
    *plus applicable taxes



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