CCLA is a national civil liberties organization that was constituted to promote respect for and observance of fundamental human rights and civil liberties in Canada. To advance these objectives we participate in litigation as a party and as an intervenor; speak to government committees preparing legislation at provincial and federal levels; hold public meetings and rallies; make representations before public inquiries; conduct surveys of people’s experiences with various laws; publish articles and appear regularly in the mass media; hold seminars and have education programs for students as young as grade 3 through high school, university and law school.
Please see below for some frequently asked questions.
Yes! The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is a registered charity (Registration number 754802288 RR0001)
CCLA raises funds from the general public and private donors. In order to maintain our independence, we do not accept money from the government. The lawyers who do work for us usually do so on a pro bono basis.
CCLA was incorporated in 1964. CCLET was created by CCLA as its charitable educational research arm in 1967. CCLA is focused on litigation, civil liberties monitoring/research and advocacy, while CCLET engages in public education, including speeches, presentations, op-eds, as well as delivering programmes in schools and faculties of education. The two organizations share staff and resources.
“Intervenor status” is a legal term that means a court has made a formal decision to grant CCLA the right to participate in the proceedings before the court and provide comment on the legal issues being considered. The case may be between two private parties, or between the government and a private party. CCLA seeks to intervene and make legal arguments on civil liberties issues on behalf of all Canadians so that their rights are protected, preserved, and perhaps even expanded.
Case length varies considerably and is influenced by many factors, such as level of court and jurisdiction. The complexity of the facts, legal arguments, and issues can also affect the duration of a case. Decisions in Supreme Court of Canada cases are frequently handed down between six and twelve months from the date of the hearing, though in some cases decisions may take longer.
Many of our factums are available on our website.