The Canadian Constitution Foundation appeared as an intervenor in Attorney General (BC) v Council of Canadians with Disabilities. The case involves the test for public interest standing and was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on January 12 and 13, 2022.

“Public interest standing is the cornerstone of Charter litigation. It is the vehicle through which organizational litigants like the CCF can challenge government action with broad social effects and is central to upholding the constitutional rights and freedoms afforded to all Canadians,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn. “As one of Canada’s leading defenders of constitutional rights and freedoms of all Canadians, the CCF will argue in favour of a broad framework for public interest standing that is flexible and purposive. This will enable courts to remain nimble and allow organizations like the CCF to effectively litigate serious constitutional issues, which is in the best interests of justice,” continued Van Geyn.

In this case, the CCF is represented by Mark Sheeley of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. The factum is available here. “A liberal and generous interpretation of the requirements for public interest standing is necessary to ensure access to the courts for Canadians who cannot effectively litigate issues of importance to themselves and the wider public. It allows sophisticated litigants, like the CCF, to bring cases on behalf of Canadians before waiting until an individual has experienced the harms of having their rights violated,” said Sheeley.

WE WON: On June 23, 2022 a favourable decision was announced by the Supreme Court of Canada. We applaud the Court’s decision clarifying the important role that groups serve in Canadian society by engaging in legal action.

Intervention for public interest standing (BC v Council of Canadians with Disabilities)

CCF Launch: January 6, 2022
Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of Canada
Status: Closed
Next Key Date: Closed

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