Ontario and the Direct Access Model to Human Rights
22 Arguments for Human Rights Institutions in Canada, eds. S. Day, L. Lamarche, K. Norman, Irwin Law, Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2013 Last revised: 4 Jan 2014
Date Written: October 31, 2013
The measure of our society depends not only on the vigour of the language it uses in human rights law, but also on whether individuals have real access to meaningful enforcement of those rights. While Ontario has long had relatively robust human rights statutes, its ongoing challenge has been to create an effective mechanism for enforcing those rights. This chapter, excerpted from "22 Arguments for Human Rights Institutions in Canada", looks at Ontario's direct access model to human rights and whether the legislative changes have improved access to fair and effective human rights enforcement. As a current member and former vice-chair of the Tribunal, I was involved in the Tribunal's work from 2008 to present. While the Tribunal continues to strive to meet these challenges, it has seen considerable success and has successfully transitioned to a direct access model for human rights.
Keywords: human rights, human rights law, direct access model, Ontario, rights, enforcement, Ontario Human Rights Commission, self-represented, amendments, reform
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