Thursday, June 11, 2009

CHRC Recommendations

From their "Special Report to Parliament: Freedom of Expressionand Freedom from Hate in the Internet Age":

1) Keep Section 13.

2) Amend CHRA so def. of "hate" is in accordance with Tayler.

3) Lack on intent provision is no big deal, as Commission "routinely considers the context of an alleged hate message."

4) No statutory requirement for legal representation (a point Ezra never acknowledges), but costs can be awarded "in exceptional circumstances where the Tribunal finds that a party has abused the Tribunal process." As has already been done at least once in B.C.

5) Amend CHRA to more swiftly dismiss "section 13 complaints when messages do not meet the narrow definition of hatred or contempt."

6) Continue to let individuals (in addition to the commission) file complaints.

7) Move to end "forum shopping", which in any event is a rare occurrence.

8) Repeal section allowing fines against section 13 complaints. Keep penalties (paid to complainant).

Here's the full .pdf.


Ti-Guy said...

No statutory requirement for legal representation (a point Ezra never acknowledges)...

...and a point our lazy media never brings up with him. Not once, in the many, many, many instances this idiot has been paraded on our airwaves, has anyone bothered to ask him about that.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

Ti - You are completely correct - there is no requirement for anyone to ever hire a lawyer. However, actually there is no requirement for legal representation on a murder charge, or to represent yourself against children's services when your child is taken from you.. so, why, then, are we spending millions of dollars per year on funding legal aid programs?

The reality is that when the government puts you in their sights, and you're subject to $40,000.00 in fines, and additional remedial directions affecting your liberty and your reputation, one might consider a lawyer a good idea.

But - you're right Ti - no need for a lawyer, it's a matter of personal choice, but I would think most people, if they had the ability, would in fact hire a lawyer.

MgS said...


The HRC process is deliberately designed to not require the involvement of lawyers the way that the judicial system does.

This was done quite consciously in recognition of the fact that those who are on the receiving end of discriminatory practices are often not wealthy enough to afford lawyers.

Further, only a small handful of cases ever go beyond the initial assessment or remediation stages to full tribunal hearing and subsequent court appeals.

Ti-Guy said...

What MgS said. But having been subjected to MaƮtre Harvie's scolding, I'm forced, yet again, to wonder peevishly whether the entire legislative and judicial processes are nothing but elaborate schemes to keep lawyers in business. After all, only they can understand each other's curious brand of logic and reason and seem to be unconcerned about fundamental ethics and morality.

I suppose it's better than having them running around loose on the streets, though.